AFC West mailbag

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Weekend mail call:

Ryan from Highlands Ranch, Colo., wants to know if Denver fans were booing Kyle Orton on Thursday night at a scrimmage or booing Josh McDaniels for trading Jay Cutler.

Bill Williamson: Maybe both, Ryan. But I think the boos were directed, first and foremost, at Orton. But Orton and McDaniels are connected. They will either succeed together in Denver or fail together there. McDaniels created this situation. He chose Orton to replace Cutler. If Orton doesn't work out, McDaniels will have to answer for it. But I think the boos Thursday night were aimed at Orton because he was the one making the mistakes. I think this is a sign of things to come in Denver if Orton doesn't play well. Many Denver fans are not happy with this situation.

Pat from N.J. wants to know whether Brodie Croyle is on his way out in Kansas City as a result of the team claiming Matt Gutierrez off waivers from New England.

BW: I think Croyle's future in Kansas City is in danger. The Chiefs didn't claim Gutierrez just for kicks. And they are not going to keep four quarterbacks. Kansas City general manager Scott Pioli knows Gutierrez from New England and obviously likes him. Croyle was from the past regime so Pioli and new coach Todd Haley are not invested in him. Croyle has some skills, but he can't stay healthy. If Gutierrez is impressive in camp, I do think Croyle, the former starter in Kansas City, is in trouble.

Shane from Arapahoe, Neb. wants to know if the Raiders look better for bypassing Michael Crabtree now that he is in a nasty contract holdout.

BW: You can look at it that way, but I fully expect Crabtree to sign with San Francisco sooner or later and make an impact. I don't think Oakland took Darrius Heyward-Bey instead of Crabtree because of contract issues. The Raiders thought Heyward-Bey was a better fit for the offense. Crabtree and Heyward-Bey will forever be connected and compared to each other. Will Heyward-Bey be better than Crabtree? We'll see, but he's in camp, so he has a head start.