AFC West mailbag

Weekend mail call:

Michael Hardwicke from Colorado Springs wants to know why Peyton Hillis isn’t playing much in Denver.

Bill Williamson: This is an oft-asked question, Michael. I know many Broncos fans are upset that Josh McDaniels does not use Hillis much. I am with them on this one. Give the kid a chance. He runs hard each time he touches the ball and can move the pile. Denver and Knowshon Moreno have struggled in gaining short yards and Hillis deserves a chance to see if he can help the team in that area.

Jared from Junction City, Oregon wants to know

if I think Oakland safety Tyvon Branch is the real deal.

BW: Yes, Jared, I like this kid. The 2008 fourth-round pick has really come on this season. He has 110 tackles and proved he is a hard hitter and a playmaker. I expect Branch to be a part of Oakland’s secondary for a long time. If he keeps this up, Branch will get serious Pro Bowl consideration next season.

Kevin from Kansas City wants to know

if Todd Haley’s job is safe.

BW: Well, if the Chiefs got blown out in the final two games, general manager Scott Pioli could think about it. But I don’t really expect it to get that point. The Chiefs are 3-11 and they haven’t gotten better. But Haley needs at least another year to get his program going. Haley is a young coach and he has had some issues in game management. But I like him as a leader and I think he needs more time. I expect that to happen.