Weekend mail call:
Tyler from Hamilton, Ontario, wants know why Denver rookie running back Ronnie Hillman hasn’t been active yet.
Bill Williamson: It comes down to being able to pick up NFL blitzes and overall blocking. That is what keeps most running backs off the field early in their career. This is fairly normal for mid-round picks. If half the season goes by and the explosive Hillman is not playing then, it is time to worry. Right now it’s just part of the process.
Jerm from San Diego wants to know what I think about the Chargers’ work in the trenches so far.
BW: It’s been good. The San Diego defensive line is better and deeper than in recent years. It is physical. Offensively the unit is also playing well. Left tackle Jared Gaither is out and undrafted rookie Mike Harris is going a nice job. The line will be better whenever Gaither gets back, but Harris’ work has been admirable.
Omar from Yorba Linda, Calif., wants to know if I think the Carson Palmer trade will work out for Oakland.
BW: It’s a tough question because I don’t think Palmer will ever lead the Raiders to a Super Bowl on his own and I thought the Raiders gave up way too much to get him. It was a panic move by former coach Hue Jackson, who had way too much power after the death of owner Al Davis. Oakland gave up its first-round pick in 2012 and its second-round pick next year for Palmer. The Raiders are 4-8 since the trade. Palmer is a decent player, but he will be 33 this year and he seems to be in decline. I have a hard time thinking we will look back at this trade in 10 years and think it was a good one for Oakland.