AFC West training camp: Checking in

ENGLEWOOD, CO - MAY 24: Denver Broncos quarterbacks Trevor Simian (13) Mark Sanchez (6) Paxton Lynch (12) during OTA's May 24, 2016 at UCHealth Training Facility. (Photo By John Leyba/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
ENGLEWOOD, CO - MAY 24: Denver Broncos quarterbacks Trevor Simian (13) Mark Sanchez (6) Paxton Lynch (12) during OTA's May 24, 2016 at UCHealth Training Facility. (Photo By John Leyba/The Denver Post via Getty Images) /
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Jul 30, 2016; Napa, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) throws a pass at training camp at the Napa Valley Marriott. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 30, 2016; Napa, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) throws a pass at training camp at the Napa Valley Marriott. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Oakland Raiders

The Raiders appear to be having a camp much like the Chiefs. Their starters are making plays on both sides of the ball and their draft picks are coming along nicely. Behind back Latavius Murray, are two guys making names for themselves in camp and the Raiders are excited to finally have a possible sub for Murray in games.

Both DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard have proven to be quality receivers out of the backfield for quarterback David Carr and as the Chiefs showed last year it pays to have a lot of horses in the stable for the backfield.

Jack Del Rio has been praised by a lot of observers out there that believe he has this team on the right path and a legitimate chance to take the AFC West crown. Del Rio knows that too much off-season praise can mess with a young team’s head so he relies on his veterans to keep them grounded. Guys like Sean Smith, Bruce Irvin, and Rodney Hudson will help keep the budding stars from getting big heads before the season even starts.

When asked about being labelled paper champions by the media Del Rio had this to say, “I think that’s a nice catchphrase for somebody to write about, but that’s not real. For us, we’re about the work that we’re putting in. It’s real work. There is real sweat being put it. There is real effort and energy being put forth. A real commitment. That’s where our focus is, not on words.”

All of that translates well in the preseason but it becomes a different narrative if the Raiders can’t transform from their recent disasters to a real NFL team again. High expectations can bring a team very low come mid-season. The important thing is for the Chiefs to focus only on what they can do and turn a blind eye to all the hype coming out of Oakland.

Next: Denver Broncos