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Around the AFC West with NFL Network's Jim Trotter

Oakland Raiders' Maurice Hurst (73) P.J. Hall, and Arden Key (99) wait to perform a drill during NFL football practice on Friday, May 4, 2018, at the team's training facility in Alameda, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

NFL Network reporter Jim Trotter was a guest on Tuesday's episode of Chargers Weekly, the official podcast of the team.

Trotter discussed several topics related to the Chargers and the AFC West, including how Broncos quarterback Case Keenum is performing in training camp and the Raiders' expectations for running back Doug Martin. He also named an AFC team who may surprise in 2018. More highlights from the conversation are below:

On the 2018 Chargers

"They've got so much talent and the question in my mind: Can they finally get over that hump, particularly if they stay healthy? There really aren't many deficiencies on this club when you look at it. You've got a franchise quarterback. You've got a defense that should be one of the best in the league. You've got two premier edge rushers over there. You've got a secondary that's very deep. So, there's no reason that this defense shouldn't be one of the best in the league, and offensively – outside of the tight end position – I don't know that there is a question about this group. So, I love everything about this team."

On Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes

"A young quarterback's best friend is a running game. I would say second to that, or 1b to that, is a talented defense, and they've made a lot of changes on that side of the ball, so that determines sometimes how you play. If you have a defense that can shut people down, you don't have to take as many chances. You don't have to open up the offense. With Mahomes, if that defense isn't as good as it was in years past, now maybe you do have to open it up more and you take more chances with a young quarterback, which is difficult. Look, there's no question that he has a tremendous amount of talent. There's no question they're extremely excited about him – they were a year ago. But, he is a young quarterback, and he is going to have some growing pains at some point."

Oakland's defensive rookies

"They're really excited about their young guys. I know (defensive end) Khalil (Mack) isn't there, but defensively they really like (defensive end) Arden Key, the rookie out of LSU. They really like (defensive tackle Maurice) Hurst in the middle. They feel that he's doing some things, and so they know that even if Khalil isn't there that they're going to have to scheme up pressure and (Head Coach Jon) Gruden really likes (new Defensive Coordinator Paul) Guenther and believes that he will be able to do that."

Listen to Tuesday's entire episode, which also includes a recap of the preseason opener in Arizona and a look ahead to the Seattle Seahawks with ESPN's Eric Williams. Subscribe to Chargers Weekly on Apple Podcasts. A five-star rating/review is appreciated and will help spread the word to other fans this offseason. Chargers Weekly is also available on Stitcher, TuneIn or Google Play.

Chargers Training Camp has kicked off!Click here for information on attending one of the several open practices between July 28 and August 23. To celebrate football being back, we're giving away two 2018 season tickets! Click hereto enter for your chance to win.

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