Many have tried and failed, but it is up to Gus Bradley to solve the Raiders’ longstanding defensive problems.
Bradley was hired by trainer Jon Gruden on Tuesday as the new Raiders defensive coordinator, the Bay Area News Group learned. The Raiders confirmed Bradley’s inclusion in the staff.
Bradley has been the Los Angeles Chargers Defensive Coordinator for three years, replacing Interim Coordinator Rod Marinelli, who took over when Paul Guenther was fired with three games remaining in the 2020 season.
Günther was Gruden’s handpicked choice as defensive coordinator when he returned to coaching in 2018. The Raiders were at the bottom of the NFL defensive standings all season. Gruden fired Günther after a 44:27 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, when both teams were contenders in the playoffs.
Bradley and former Seattle Defense Coordinator Kris Richard were the only known candidates interviewed.
It’s up to Bradley to improve a Raiders defense that, with a few exceptions, has been bad for nearly a quarter of a century. Marinelli is expected to continue to be employed as a defensive coach.
Bradley, 50, got his first NFL job with Jon Gruden with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2006 as a quality control coach under Monte Kiffin. Bradley had served as the North Dakota state defense coordinator.
He was promoted to linebacker coach, but lost his job when Gruden and the staff retired after a 31:24 loss to the Raiders a month to end the 2008 season.
On Kiffin’s recommendation, Bradley received an interview with Jim Mora, the freshman Seattle coach who was impressed enough to hire him as defensive coordinator.
« Monte says, » JL, listen to me, I have a guy here in Tampa who’s one of the best soccer coaches I’ve ever worked with, « Mora told the Seattle Post-Ingelligencer. » He’s a A plus. He is a one-time trainer. You have to talk to him. »
Although Bradley had no experience as an NFL coordinator, Mora hired him. When he was fired after a season, Bradley kept the position under Pete Carroll.
With the Seahawks of 2009-12, Bradley formed a defense under Carroll’s tutelage that included young talents like Kam Chancellor, Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas and K.J. Wright and Bobby Wagner. Seattle led the NFL in goal defense (15.3 points per game) in 2012, going from 7-9 to 11-5.
Bradley then spent four seasons as the head coach at Jacksonville (14-48) before being fired. He then moved to Chargers as a defensive coordinator.
Charger cornerback Casey Hayward told USA Today at the Pro Bowl in 2017 Bradley came out with a big thumbs up from Sherman.
« He just said, ‘Man, you’re going to love this guy! You’ll be ready to run through a wall for him because that’s the kind of person he is, ”said Hayward. “That upset me. He said he was a really good mix for a cornerback because he was going to mess things up. He’s going to play some (cover) three, he’s going to play a man. He said Gus will mess things up and put different pressures. »
There are innumerable ways to statistically rate a defense, with two of the most basic points and yards allowed.
The Raiders were 30th in 2020 and haven’t been 20th since 2006 when they were 18th. They have been pretty consistent in terms of mileage in the 20s, with the The outlier at number 11 was ranking under John Marshall in 2010.
The year 2006 was a statistical coincidence as the Raiders ranked 3rd in terms of mileage in addition to 18th place in the admissible points. That season, the Raiders under Art Shell were so poor on offense that opponents realized that the game was essentially over after 10 points and they were spending more time killing the clock than trying to score achieve.
Only twice in the last 30 years have the Raiders had a top 10 defense in terms of mileage and points. They were ninth in points and eighth in mileage under the late Fred Whittingham in 1996, but mostly finished the race 7-9 due to injuries to quarterback Jeff Hostetler.
The other time was 1990, when the Raiders under Dave Adolph were number 7 in points and number 4 in meters. They were 12-4 that season and their defenders included Greg Townsend, Howie Long, Jerry Robinson and Terry McDaniel.
Bradley has the following players under contract for 2021, sorted by salary CP number: Linebacker Cory Littleton ($ 13.7 million), slot corner Lamarcus Joyner ($ 11.2 million), defensive end Carl Nassib ($ 9.5 million), defensive end Clelin Ferrell ($ 8.5 million) linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski ($ 7 million).
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Other young players under their draft-pick contracts that are expected to form the basis for 2021 include Safety Johnathan Abram ($ 3.1 million), cornerback Damon Arnette ($ 3 million), Cornerback Tray by Mullen ($ 1.9 million) and Maxx Crosby ($ 1 million). .
The Raiders have spent a lot more money on offensive than on defense since Gruden’s arrival. Currently, players are under contract with $ 115.5 million below the salary cap, with $ 70.6 being set aside for defense, according to overhecap.com.
Over the past two seasons the Raiders have made some significant defensive appearances at Free Agent, particularly Joyner, Littleton and Nassib, but none have made the kind of impact Gruden and Mayock hoped for.
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