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AMERICAN WEST
September 20, 1971
The Raiders have everything, including Blanda. Make it five straight. The Chiefs have almost everything, including Stram's red vest. A sharp second. The Broncos have everything but offense. Third. The Chargers ditto but defense
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September 20, 1971

American West

The Raiders have everything, including Blanda. Make it five straight. The Chiefs have almost everything, including Stram's red vest. A sharp second. The Broncos have everything but offense. Third. The Chargers ditto but defense

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In his trading flurry, Saban had to part with Al Denson, a proven wide receiver, and the Broncos need targets for Horn to aim at. In fact, the receiving corps is probably the weakest facet of the team, and any really weak spot will make it impossible for Saban to challenge Oakland and Kansas City. A more realistic goal is for him to move up a step, overtaking San Diego for third.

Sid Gillman, ex-coach of the Los Angeles Rams and the Chargers, reassumed the Charger job this season. Gillman is a brilliant coach with a fine record, but he has a thankless task in raising San Diego out of its third-place doldrums.

He has gone about it energetically, trading such stars as Lance Alworth and Post (for Tight End Pettis Norman, Defensive Tackle Ron East and Offensive Tackle Tony Liscio, who was traded to Miami, whereupon he announced his retirement), but he still needs a rush from a front four that did not scare anyone last year. He may have shored up an offensive line which allowed 57 sacks in 1970, and the installation of the I formation might inhibit the rush.

Gillman has a good cornerstone on which to build: John Hadl, his quarterback, was second in the AFC last year and is but 31. Oh, and Gillman has one other plus. When he wore two hats as head coach and general manager, he signed all the players, which did not tend toward forming a deep friendship between him and the team. Now he has hired Harland Svare, another former Ram head coach, as general manager and Svare will conduct salary negotiations. In view of the wage freeze, it should make a difference in morale.

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