AFC West news and notes

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson
San Diego Chargers seventh-round pick Demetrius Byrd has spoken publicly for the first time since an April 19 auto accident that hospitalized him and caused him to drop in the draft.

Byrd was expected to be a third-round pick prior to the accident. Yet, the deep-threat receiver fell all the way to the final round.

Byrd expressed gratitude to the Chargers and he vowed he will be ready soon to help contribute. This is going to be a very nice story to follow as Byrd makes his way back to the field.

Linebacker Larry Foote, cut by Pittsburgh on Monday, would fit in the 3-4 defenses used in Kansas City, Denver and San Diego.

The Chargers have no major need at linebacker. It wouldn't be a surprise if the Chiefs and Broncos showed interest. The Chiefs have about $30 million in salary-cap room. Foote has expressed an interest in playing for Detroit.

The Oakland Tribune looks at five players who need to step up beginning at this weekend's mandatory minicamp. The first name on the list is quarterback JaMarcus Russell, who is entering a critical season in his development.