Raiders tab Gus Bradley as defensive coordinator tasked with fixing unit

Josh Schrock
·2 min read

Raiders hire Bradley as DC tasked with fixing porous unit originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Jon Gruden has found the man to turn the Raiders' defense around. On Tuesday, the Raiders announced that Gus Bradley had been hired as the defensive coordinator replacing Paul Guenther who was fired late in the season.

Bradley recently spent four years as the defensive coordinator for the Los Angeles Chargers. Prior to that, Bradley was the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2013-16 and was the defensive coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks from 2009-12 during the "Legion of Boom" heyday.

Bradley likes to play a 4-3 Cover 3 scheme. Last season, the Chargers ran Cover 3 of 46 percent of pass plays. In order for a Cover 3 scheme to be successful, a team has to have a good front four that can pressure the quarterback. That's something the Raiders currently lack and should tell us something about what they plan to prioritize in the offseason. The system is simple and allows players to play fast. This is an important change from Guenther's scheme which the Raiders often decried as too complex. However, Cover 3 can be picked apart if the four-man rush isn't there.

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Bradley has coached a number of good defenses during his time in the NFL, but both the Seahawks and Chargers had a number of supremely talented players on that side of the ball. He'll face a different challenge with a Raiders team that needs a face-lift on all three levels of the defense.

This past season, the Raiders ranked 25th in total defense and 28th in defensive DVOA. Offseason additions Cory Littleton, Maliek Collins and Carl Nassib didn't bring the improvement the Raiders expected and the pass rush was subpar, ranking 30th in sacks per game.