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AFC West Coaching Changes: All Quiet Outside Of Broncos

The Chargers and Raiders seem content to maintain coaching status quo while the Broncos have already made a change.

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As it turns out, the Denver Broncos will probably be the only domino to fall. In an off-season where the coaching carousel is bound to be the center of attention (outside of the labor disagreement), the AFC West figured to play a major part. After all, outside of Kansas City, you can make a solid case for axing the coach in every situation. Yet most teams are holding fast, despite the abundance of "name" coaches available.

Former Super Bowl winners are available for hire, as are hot coaching hires. That's not to mention impressive interim coaches who might not catch on in their current scenarios, but sure look like they're ready for the big time. You also have the assistant coaches who continue to add to their resume with impressive units performing on league-leading offenses and defenses. Names will be tossed like rag dolls this off-season, familiar ones like Gruden, Billick, Cowher, Frazier, Garrett, Turner and the like. Yet outside of Denver, continuity is the name of the game here.

The Chargers just announced via team owner Dean Spanos that both General Manager A.J. Smith and Head Coach Norv Turner will be back again, despite the Chargers' abysmal start in September and October and inability to close the season out in games against the Raiders and Bengals. Some might blame the late arrivals of wide receiver Vincent Jackson and tackle Marcus McNeil, but apparently Spanos is content to keep the same regime intact despite some coaching and contract foibles.

The same can be reasonable assumed with the Raiders although Bernie, I mean Al Davis, certainly hasn't submitted any official statements like Spanos. However, the Raiders had their best off-season in years and the development of their younger players on offense under Hue Jackson, the dominant defense and the continuity under Tom Cable have given the Raiders their most stable feeling in the last decade. Cable's early days as coach were filled with drama and bar fights, but now it seems that Oakland's future is promising if the development continues.

So it's down to the Broncos to introduce a new face to the AFC West sidelines. Whoever takes over is going to step into a lot of drama, as the exit of Mike Shanahan and pretty much everything Josh McDaniels touched the last two years is covered in question marks and sloppy decision-making. Then again, given the ridiculous slate of strong resumes available, the Broncos might turn things around faster than people might believe possible.