NFL Analysis: Haunted Is the (AFC) West

Class, in the past two weeks we said goodbye to some of my more beloved players. Drew Bledsoe retired, and now surefire Hall of Fame cat Will Shields. How many offensive linemen have had their own Boston Market commercial with MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann? Just Shields. Class and brilliance, Slick Willie might be the best guard in the history of this fine game, and he will be missed. Watching him flatten defensive-line folk was art in motion. He had the grace of a swan and the power of a bulldozer. All too often we forget that offensive linemen make this game move. They are the bass players of our rock band, the scoop of vanilla in the middle of our banana split, they are the kind African-American guy on American Idol, you know, what’s-his-name. Not the chick that married Emilio Estevez. Not the rude English dude. That other guy who keeps Idol from being the Gong Show 2.0. Offensive linemen may not get the ink, but without them the flashy kids have nothing to stand on. Without guys like Will Shields, Terrell Owens is just a Gong Show act waiting for the government check on the first and the 15th. Thank you, Will. Now, onto Shields' former team.

Kansas City Chiefs
Printed Comparison
: Until I Find You by John Irving
The KC kids could be any John Irving novel, really; it is clear that Herm Edwards and most of the Chiefs are just trying to make good, to impress, and to receive love and recognition from Dick Vermeil. Regardless, Vermeil will cry his eyes into his socks and tell us all how proud he is of his former posse.

Prognosis
: In light of recent events, this team could draft the best player on the board and do just fine, as the holes on this team are many and are only going to get bigger. WR/KR Dante Hall is about to be 86ed. Priority needs to be wide out, and LSU’s Dwayne Bowe could fit the scheme well, with enough size and speed to make “daddy” proud.


Denver Broncos
Printed Comparison
: A Turn of the Screw by Henry James

Mike Shanahan is haunted by the ghost of the goodly John Elway while being surrounded by the strange and sinister that cannot properly execute his playbook. Or, just like the lass in James' masterpiece, is Shanahan just crazy seeking for a time and place that will never be again?

Prognosis: Regardless of the QB situation, the Mile High Club needs defensive-tackle help. Justin Harrell of Tennessee was injured this past year, but the word on the corner shouts this kid cannot be ignored.


Oakland Raiders
Printed Comparison
: A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking
Sadly, I assume Al Davis has only read the chapter on black holes, and I mean that from as many demented and inane angles as there can be.

Prognosis: JaMarcus Russell will be the pick, and we all know it. And, we all know Russell will be the next Byron Leftwich, and I mean that from as many demented and inane angles as there can be.

San Diego “Super” Chargers
Printed Comparison
: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? by Edward Albee
With Marty Schottenheimer as George, GM A.J. Smith as Martha, Philip Rivers and former TCU supertalent LaDainian Tomlinson as the young couple that really have no clue what is happening. It all ends with the death of a fictional child, just like the Chargers Super Bowl hopes.

Prognosis: A safety and a wide receiver can calm the drama. If Ted Ginn Jr. is still around, the Chargers will adopt him.

Next Class …

It is draft time, baby!

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