4 questions for the Las Vegas Raiders defense entering 2020
By Evan Groat
Four Questions: Is Paul Guenther the right man to lead this defense?
As earlier mentioned, it has not mattered as of late who was calling the shots on defense, the production has not been there. Head coach Jon Gruden has remained loyal to his hand-picked selection of Paul Guenther as defensive coordinator through three tumultuous seasons.
For those of you ready to write Guenther off, allow me to play devil’s advocate for just one moment. Prior to joining the Raiders staff in 2018, he spent 12 years in Cincinnati serving under Marvin Lewis and Mike Zimmer, two great defensive minds.
Guenther was a linebackers coach for the Bengals until he got promoted to defensive coordinator in 2014. During that time, his defenses were among the best in the league. Starting in 2014, in points allowed, they were ranked 12th, 2nd, 8th, and 16th.
Imagine for a second what the Raiders could do with a defense that ranked 12th in scoring?
The key difference between those Bengals teams and the Raiders teams of the past three seasons is talent and familiarity with the scheme. Guenther now enters his third season, and players are much more comfortable within the system, and this is the most talent he has had to work with since joining forces with Gruden.
Things appear to be looking up for Guenther but the proof will be in the product, and that is yet to be seen.