Mailbag: DHB's season

Weekend mail call:

Ron from Petersburg., Va., wants to know why Oakland quarterback Carson Palmer and receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey aren’t having a great connection this year.

Bill Williamson: Heyward-Bey has just 14 catches. But he has missed two games. Still, he is not on pace to match the 64 grabs he had last year. But he is making his catches count, averaging 15.4 yards per catch. I don’t think his lack of catches is a sign that he isn’t in sync with Palmer. The two were in sync last year when Palmer came to the team mid-season. I think it has to do with the scheme change, the fact that there are other targets and Heyward-Bey’s injury. These two will be fine even if Heyward-Bey’s numbers don’t match last year’s big season.

Deb from Fort Smith, Ark., wants to know if the Chiefs will hire a defensive coordinator next year if Romeo Crennel stays on as head coach.

BW: Yes, if Crennel is back, I do certainly think there will be a defensive coordinator. I don’t think the Chiefs’ brass will think it is a good idea that Crennel remains the defensive coordinator in addition to head coach. I think Crennel needs to concentrate on his duties and have a like-minded coordinator on the staff as well. I think his decision to be his own coordinator was a mistake.

Faris from Anaheim, Calif., wants to know if Denver Ryan Clady is considered an elite left tackle again.

BW: Yes, Clady is playing at a high level. Scouts I speak to believe he is playing at a high level again. He started his career at a level, but he was slowed by a knee injury he suffered while playing basketball. He also seems much more comfortable blocking for the more traditional Peyton Manning than in wild option days of Tim Tebow. Clady is a free agent and I think Denver will franchise him if a long-term deal is not finished prior to free agency.