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AFC West Combine Roundup

With day two of the Scouting Combine in the books, all AFC West head coaches and general managers have taken to the podium to share insight on their teams and upcoming seasons.

For the AFC West, the offseason has been anything but slow. 

From coaching changes to projected trades and questions at quarterback, here are some notable takeaways from the head coaches of the Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders:

DENVER BRONCOS HEAD COACH VANCE JOESPH

On the AFC West…

"It's a strong division. You look at the Chiefs who have won every game in the division for two years. That football team is hard to beat, especially at home.  Oakland has a good staff with Coach (Jon) Gruden. That's an experienced football coach with a big-time quarterback. The Chargers I think started 1-4 or 1-5 and won seven or eight straight with (QB) Philip Rivers and Coach (Anthony) Lynn out there. It's a tough division. In my opinion, you've got in the division two or three teams that are capable of making the playoffs every year. With that being said, it's always going to be a challenge to win the division."

On whether the quarterbacks currently on the roster are in the mix for next season…

"As of now, yes. We've got two guys on the roster, well, three actually with Chad Kelly. We've got Trevor (Siemian), we've got Paxton (Lynch) and we've got Chad Kelly. Absolutely they are. I can't speak to the future right now. Right now, they are our quarterbacks."

On whether he expects WRs Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas to return…

"We want to keep all of our good players. That is important. Every team has to go through a self-evaluation every single season. At the end of the day, we're doing what's best for the Broncos, but we want all of our good players to be back in Denver."

On the Broncos' 2017 draft class…

"I'm not down on our draft class from last season. Some guys take more time to develop and some guys need more time. We drafted those kids last year and there was some positive and some negative also. But again, some guys need more time. I'm not down on our class. Every year you have to evaluate what you do in the draft. I want to find Broncos. I want to find guys that are smart, tough and who are team-first guys. Obviously every year it's go back to the drawing board and kind of figure out where you can do better."

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS HEAD COACH ANDY REID

On the Patrick Mahomes version of the Kansas City offense…

"Patrick comes from the system there at (Texas) Tech and they do a great job offensively there of throwing the football. We've incorporated a little bit of that stuff because Alex had done a little bit of that in college, too. So we went back and we pulled some of that out for Alex. Once he had a chance to get in the offense for that Denver game we kind of did the same thing there. We'll just see how everything rolls down the road here."

On if Mahomes' December start was important in retrospect…

"Patrick Mahomes and his opportunity to start in that game, again I can't talk about what is going on, but I will tell you that I felt like he played very well in that game. We need to get his percentage a little bit up on throws. I like the way he went about business. We were able to take him, between Mike Kafka and myself, we were able to take him and lead him into that game throughout the whole week while Matt and Brad Childress and Alex worked on the playoff teams. What that did was it allowed you to get a feel for him for down the road whenever that time was and I liked what I saw and felt there. I think he handled things very well. Prepared to the T on that, handled himself very well."

On if it's important to challenge a new quarterback…

"You want to keep it fresh, is probably a better term. Normally, that encompasses a lot of things, but it is important that he knows you are going out to do your job.  I have been around some great players, some Hall of Fame players, and what they want is they want that one little nugget that makes them greater than they already are.  When you come into that, you come into it full boar, man. 'I am going to go out and get you some stuff, man.' And then you do it. You are going to be fired up doing it, let's roll. We will be even better than what we are."

On playing against Jon Gruden twice a year and him being back in the league…

"I think it is great for football. It is great for the National Football League. I thought he was great in the booth, but this is kind of home now. He is back doing what he loves to do and that is important in your life to enjoy going to work every day and love what you are doing, and he will do that. The fact that he is at the Raiders, I love that. We are in it for the competition and he will deliver. I thought Jack Del Rio did a heck of a job. I am a big Jack Del Rio fan, too. It isn't like they aren't coming off being coached well. He is picking up good talent, they are going to be coached well and it just makes the NFL even better."

OAKLAND RAIDERS HEAD COACH JON GRUDEN

On his return to coaching…

"It's a lot different because you're not allowed to have any interaction with the players, and I've always complained about that since the new CBA came into place.  A lot of players would come to see me in Tampa to get their football fix. So, you're not allowed to have contact with these guys but what's most discouraging to me is we've got to make some decisions on our roster, on salaries, on players and their futures and you can't even meet them. I don't know these guys. I've never coached them. I never met half of them. So, that's been very, very difficult for me and I've been emotional about it at times."

On the AFC West…

"That's really special. I remember being here and seeing Marty Schottenheimer across the field and Mike Shanahan, Junior Seau and the Chargers. I'm just thrilled to be back in the AFC West, but with the Raiders. It's been really cool. Not many people get a chance to go back and do it a second time. It's a neat story for me. But I want to take advantage of the opportunity and I know I have a lot to prove."

On returning to the Combine…

"I like the camaraderie of it all. I get to see a lot of you people that I know that I haven't had a chance to see in a while, also I get a chance to fraternize with the coaches from around the league and it's your first opportunity to get to see what kind of players we have in this year's draft. So, I'm going to be a part of the interview process at night into the late evening and I might be out after curfew a few times this week. I got a free pass from my wife, so I look forward to seeing you guys."

On Raiders' biggest needs…

"Obviously, defensively there are some glaring needs at this time. Free agency hasn't started yet, but our linebacking corps, we've got a lot of questions there.  Navarro Bowman is a free agent. Looking for an inside pass rusher to step up. Our secondary, we've got to clean that up. But I think most importantly, with the Raiders, just looking at our last three drafts, we need some young people to emerge and start playing a lot for this football team."

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