Organized Team Activities [OTAs] have commenced; which indicates football season is right around the corner.
Teams across the NFL have now kicked off the first week of OTAs, each with their 90-man rosters taking the field. Tuesday afternoon, Oakland Raiders left tackle Donald Penn reflected on the conclusion of the 2016 season during his media session, and shared that last season ended with a "bad taste" in his mouth. Like Penn, I'm sure many other players and coaches felt a similar feeling.
Fortunately, that all changes with the start of team drills, and that same sensation will continue to fuel each individual as the season approaches.
With that being said; let's take a look at what our opponents from around the division are up to in this week's edition of the AFC West Update.
In recent memory, the Mile High Herd have been successful in large part to their dominant defense. With a secondary that has been ranked top-three in passing coverage the past three years, according to Pro Football Focus, the Broncos seem primed for another productive season on defense.
During the second day of OTAs, veteran cornerbacks Aqib Talib and Bradley Roby each hauled in interceptions as the team participated in practice. The duo have made a plethora of impressive plays over the years regulating the Broncos defensive backfield.
As Talib and Roby both enter their fourth year with the team, they – along with their cohorts – will be tasked with stopping offenses in arguably the toughest division in the league.
Kansas City Chiefs
While the Broncos defense made their presence known earlier this week, the Chiefs offense got to work Wednesday with some impressive plays from its wide receiver corps too. Quarterback Alex Smith has never been known as much of a gunslinger, but according to Chiefs.com, Smith delivered a multitude of deep passes throughout the day.
While wide receivers Jeremy Maclin and Chris Conley, among others, made some plays, including second-year wide out Demarcus Robinson. For the Chiefs, this is naturally a sight for sore eyes considering they haven't cracked the top-20 in receiving production since 2011.
With Maclin and tight end Travis Kelce leading the way out side, the Chiefs will look to players like Robinson and Conley to help balance out the offense.
Los Angeles Chargers
Prior to the Melvin Gordon era and their departure to L.A., the Bolts enjoyed some notable years in San Diego. While Philip Rivers has done a lot of the heavy lifting with some help from players like tight end Antonio Gates, he also had the assistance of soon-to-be Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson.
During his career with the team, Tomlinson totaled 12,490 rushing yards to coincide with an impressive 138 touchdowns. Thursday afternoon, the three-time First-Team All-Pro stopped by the Chargers practice to work out with the offense and share a few pointers.
The Chargers' offensive attack had the potential to be one of the prominent ones in the league last season, but suffered crippling injuries to a handful of players. With a healthy roster, and Tomlinson's wisdom of the game, the Bolts might be able to turn things around next season.