The Raiders had huge issues on the defensive side of the ball in 2020. They gave up the 7th most yards through the air and the 9th most yards on the ground. Overall, they allowed the 3rd most points per game. Something had to be done. Bring in, Gus Bradley. A defensive-minded coach that has had tremendous success in the past, building and putting together different defenses over the past decade.
First, he built the greatest defense over the past 10 years with the Seattle Seahawks. The Legion Of Boom was the league’s scariest defense, featuring superstars like Bobby Wagner, Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor & Earl Thomas. Then he went to the Jacksonville Jaguars, where he drafted the league’s best cornerback in Jalen Ramsey and a productive pass rusher in Yannick Ngakoue. And although he wasn’t there to reap the benefits, the defense he built would ultimately take the Jaguars team to the Conference Championship game in 2017. Lastly, and most recently, he helped the Los Angeles Chargers become a top ten defense 3 times over the past 4 years.
Now, Gus is asked to do it a 4th time with the Las Vegas Raiders, and coach Gruden couldn’t be happier with his selection:
I feel pretty good. A lot of our practices were instruction based,” Gruden said. “We’ll see where we are when we lay the leather down in training camp. But Gus Bradley, Milus, Marinelli, our coaches have done a great job on defense. I think we’re better. I think we have a chance to be much better and a lot deeper. It’ll be more competitive.
Gus Bradley will be asked to help improve a young roster that has some potential superstars, including guys like Johnathan Abram, Maxx Crosby, Clelin Ferrell, Tre’von Moehrig. One of the ways he’s getting to a quick start is by communicating with his players:
I think it’s off to a great start. (Dealing with players) That’s one of his strengths,” Gruden said of Bradley. “He’s a people person. He’s a great communicator. He also has a staff that’s been with him for a long time. I think that’s the biggest thing that he has going for him. A lot of coordinators get hired and they have to implement their defense with a lot of coaches they’ve never worked with. Richard Smith is a great linebacker coach. Ron Milus is a great secondary coach. Marinelli just got the Lifelong Achievement Award for the defensive line coach. So, we have a great defensive staff and Gus is a great communicator. So far, so good.
If Gus Bradley can get this defense turned around, the Raiders have a real shot at the playoffs in 2021.
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