The All AFC West Team

After reviewing all of the positions in the AFC West, SDBoltReport.com chooses the starters and reserves. Every player on the team is worthy, but one week into the season there is a clear difference between the best and the next in line. Who is the best at what they do, and where do the San Diego Chargers stand? The report is in.

Head coach: Mike Shanahan

Shanahan is a dynamic coach who has brought excitement back to Denver. He helped deliver John Elway a championship, which has only made the fans hungrier.

Offensive Coordinator: Al Saunders

Saunders is in line to be the next head coach at Kansas City. Even though it is difficult to judge if he can make that transition, no one will argue he has earned the chance.

Defensive Coordinator: Wade Phillips

Even into the preseason Phillips has given a reason for the Chargers to be excited. Even though a learning curve is inevitable, the defense will be much improved and fun to watch.

Quarterback: Trent Green (starter); Jake Plummer (reserve)

Green gets the starting nod over Plummer. As dynamic as Plummer is, he is injury prone and does not have quite the success in the post and regular season as Green has had.

Running back: LaDainian Tomlinson (starter); Priest Holmes (reserve)

This was an awfully tough choice, but Tomlinson wins out. Tomlinson has done more with less than anyone in the NFL, and even though Holmes is easily one of the best running backs in football, it would be interesting to see how each player would be doing if they swapped teams.

Fullback: Lorenzo Neal (starter); Tony Richardson (reserve)

Neal is the best blocking back in the AFC West. Richardson is good, but Neal has been overwhelmingly successful at every team he has played with.

Wide receiver: Rod Smith and Jerry Rice (starters); Ashley Lelie (reserve)

Lelie is a future star in this league, but he has to prove himself. Odds are his break out season will take place this year, but Smith and Rice currently have already proved all they need too.

Tight ends: Tony Gonzalez (starter); Antonio Gates (reserve)

Gonzalez is one of the best players in the AFC West. Gates has Gonzalez type talent, and when he gains the experience, he could be one of the best in football as well.

Offensive Tackles: William Roaf and Matt Lepsis (starters); no reserve

Roaf is still dominant but is getting up there in age. Lepsis is moving positions, but the transition should not be a problem.

Offensive Guards: Will Shields and Ben Hamilton (starters); Ron Stone (reserve)

Shields is a no-brainer. Hamilton is slightly higher looked upon than Stone, but Stone is a great addition to the Oakland line regardless.

Center: Casey Weigmann (starter); Tom Nalen (reserve)

Nalen has a history of injuries despite probably having more overall talent than Weigmann. Both, though, would be excellent anchors for any team.

Defensive Tackle/Noseguard: Warren Sapp and Jamal Williams (starter); Darrius Holland (reserve)

It is doubtful that both Sapp and Williams will be able to the last the entire season, but that aside, they are probably more dependable than Holland, who too has a history of injuries.

Defensive Ends: Trevor Pryce and Reggie Hayward (starters); Vonnie Holliday (reserve)

A much more dependable group than the tackles. Pryce and Hayward are smart and dynamic pass rushers. Holliday, though over-payed, is better than most.

Inside Linebacker: Al Wilson and Donnie Edwards (starters); Napoleon Harris (reserve)

Al Wilson and Donnie Edwards are two of the best in football. Harris is good, but he has not quite reach the level of Wilson or Edwards yet. Outside Linebacker: Shawn Barber and Scott Fujita (starters); Ben Leber (reserve)

Kansas City has a pair of good'uns, and are probably the only strength of a struggling defense. Leber has all the tools to be a difference maker, but must overcome learning a new position.

Safeties: Greg Wesley and John Lynch (starters); Terrence Kiel (reserve)

This choice was not too difficult since Kiel is so young but check back in a year or two and you may be looking at the best safety in the division.

Cornerback: Champ Bailey and Charles Woodson (starters); Quentin Jammer (reserve)

All three will have to make adjustments to the new rule enforcement. Jammer will have a more difficult time adjusting because Woodson and Bailey have better covering abilities. If tackling was the key criteria then Jammer would be a starter hands down.

Kicker: Jason Elam (starter); Sebastian Janikowski (reserve)

Janikowski has proven to be worth the controversial 1st pick. But he has to put together a few more great years before reaching the achievements of Elam.

Punter: Shane Lechler (starter); Micah Knorr (reserve)

Lechler has the biggest leg in football. He kicks with accuracy and power. Knorr is a solid punter, but he is not in Lechler's league.

Kick Returner: Dante Hall (starter); Phillip Buchanon (reserve)

As if there was any question for this choice. Buchanon is still a pup in this league. But make no mistake, he has a lot of talent and is good enough to be one of the best in the NFL, even as a second year player.


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