AFC West notes: Dwight Freeney excited

  • We have previously discussed how close San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick was to becoming an Oakland Raider. Monday, Sports Illustrated revisited the possibility with former Oakland coach Hue Jackson and Kaepernick. Imagine how different things could have been had Oakland drafted Kaepernick in 2011.

  • New Oakland safety Charles Woodson was still wearing No. 2 at the team’s OTA practice Monday. Woodson’s No. 24 (he wore in his eight-year stint in Oakland that ended in 2005) is being worn by (at least for now) by cornerback Tracy Porter. Woodson donned No. 2 at Michigan where he won the Heisman Trophy. Defensive backs are not allowed to wearing that number in the NFL. Odds are Woodson ends up back in No. 24 at some point.

  • Oakland first-round pick D.J. Hayden is watching the practice. He is recovering from stomach surgery to clear up scar tissue stemming from a life-threatening heart surgery he had last November. The cornerback is expected to be ready for training camp. While it will hurt Hayden to miss these practices, at least he can get some mental work in now. With Hayden out, Porter is playing first-team cornerback with Mike Jenkins.

  • New San Diego pass-rusher Dwight Freeney can’t wait to hit Denver quarterback Peyton Manning. The two are close friends and were longtime teammates in Indianapolis. Freeney will get his chance to hit Manning twice this season.

  • Denver running back Knowshon Moreno is still not ready to go after hurting his knee in the Broncos’ playoff loss to Baltimore. With Willis McGahee also coming back from an injury, there is little mystery why Denver took Wisconsin’s Montee Ball in the second round of the April draft and expects him to play a major role as a rookie.