AFC West Notes: Broncos, Hughlett, Chargers

The Broncos were expected to be one of the best teams in the NFL coming into the season after winning the AFC in 2013. They brought back most key components of a record-breaking offense, but the difference this year is on the defensive side of the ball, writes ESPN Insider Aaron Schatz.

The newfound strength of the defense has been with a few offseason additions. The team signed Aqib Talib, T.J. Ward, and DeMarcus Ware, and selected Bradley Roby in the first round of the NFL Draft. The defense has been far improved with these new players.

Here are some other words from around the AFC West:

  • The Broncos have a big list of impending free agents, leading to questions about how long their window to win a championship will be open. Mike Klis of the Denver Post is not overly worried, noting that a number of the free agents are restricted and that the teams will be able to lock up the big pieces like Demaryius Thomas and Julius Thomas.
  • The Chiefs tried out long snapper Charley Hughlett yesterday, reports Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter).
  • The Chargers are favored to beat the Chiefs this weekend, and part of the reason they have been able to succeed is the improvements they made on defense. Two additions in the secondary are big reason for that. First-round pick Jason Verrett has been phenomenal, and former Chief Brandon Flowers has had a career resurgence in San Diego, as Joel Thorman and John Gennaro noted in a Q&A on “The biggest difference between last year’s team and this year’s Chargers is that the secondary went from atrocious to above-average with the additions of Brandon Flowers and Verrett,” said Gennaro.
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