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AFC West mailbag

Posted by ESPN.com’s Bill Williamson

Midweek mail call:

Joe from Columbus, Ohio, wants to know why the Oakland Raiders aren’t blitzing more.

Bill Williamson: It’s really not a surprise. Al Davis’ defenses don’t blitz much. And don’t be confused, this is Davis’ defense. Yes, new defensive coordinator John Marshall worked on blitzing more in training camp, but the Raiders haven’t blitzed much in the preseason. You would think they would try it some in the preseason to get used to it. But it’s just not the Raiders’ history. So, don’t expect much to change in that area.


Eli from Tampa wants to know if the Chiefs should hold onto Tyler Thigpen with Matt Cassel potentially out with an injury.

BW: I don’t think there is any way the Chiefs can or will trade Thigpen right now. We’ve all heard the rumors, but that was before Cassel was hurt. Cassel could be ready for the Sept. 13 season opener at Baltimore, but sprained knees can be tricky. Thigpen might start if Cassel can’t play. Thigpen has starting experience, so he’s valuable to the Chiefs. Plus, if Cassel can’t start the season and Brodie Croyle is the choice, Thigpen will be a backup. Croyle has a bad injury history and with the Chiefs’ weak offensive line, there is no guarantee he’d make it through a whole game. Thigpen needs to stay and I believe he will.


Jagdish from Denver wants to know if rookie quarterback Tom Brandstater could be an option for the team in 2010.

BW: Yes, he very well could be given the opportunity. I don’t think Kyle Orton is the long-term answer there. If a young quarterback impresses coach Josh McDaniels, he will be given the chance. Brandstater was chosen by McDaniels as the young player who gets the first look. Brandstater fits McDaniels’ system and he played well against Chicago on Sunday. Many things can happen in the future, but Brandstater, if he improves, could be in the mix in Denver in 2010.