Following are some whispers that we've been hearing from around the AFC West:
• The Chiefs have experienced some problems gaining yards on the ground in short-yardage situations, and we're told the blame for this belongs with the offensive line. The team's undersized O-line hasn't been able to get a push up front when it has needed to gain a yard or two, often causing the backs to be tackled for a loss. Beefing up the line will certainly be one of the Chiefs' priorities this offseason.
• After missing three games with a groin injury, Chargers PK Nate Kaeding returned in Week 11, but he appeared to be playing at less than full strength. Not only did Kaeding come up short on his only field-goal attempt (from 52 yards), but he also averaged just 58.2 yards on his six kickoffs. Nonetheless, San Diego felt comfortable enough with his condition to release temporary replacement PK Kris Brown following the game.
• He had only 1½ sacks this season, but the season-ending ACL tear suffered by Raiders DE-LB Trevor Scott was viewed as a significant loss by the team, we hear. Scott is one of the more versatile players in Oakland's front seven on defense, as he can play end or linebacker, and he also contributes on special teams. After Scott was placed on injured reserve, the Raiders signed DE Jarvis Moss, a former first-round pick who hasn't developed into much of a pass rusher and was waived by the Broncos earlier this month.
• While Broncos LB Joe Mays has excelled when given a chance to step in on defense, we hear the third-year linebacker will likely be the odd man out when the team returns to full health. Mays had always been a good special-teamer and filled his role as a reserve, but the 25-year-old surprised people after recording 18 tackles in a pair of starts following Denver's Week Nine bye. But even with the impressive numbers, we hear the 5-foot-11 linebacker is considered too small to play a bigger role.