The Las Vegas Raiders added Gus Bradley as the defensive coordinator this offseason, and he may end up being the most important addition.
Since Jon Gruden arrived back with the Las Vegas Raiders, the team has moved in the right direction in terms of the win column, going from four, to seven, and then eight this past season. What is lost on that improvement is the fact that the team has started out at 6-3 in both the 2019 and 2020 seasons, collapsing late.
Last season, the offense was outstanding, as Derek Carr threw for over 4,000 yards for the fourth straight season, and Josh Jacobs and Darren Waller both went over 1,000 yards rushing and receiving, respectively. Nelson Agholor was outstanding at wide receiver, and the offensive line was able to get push even though it went through a ton of injuries, and COVID-19.
The defense, however, not so much, as they were in the bottom three of the NFL. Due to that, the team got rid of defensive coordinator Paul Guenther late in the season, and will now turn to Gus Bradley in that role.
Some solid players are returning from last year’s team, including Trayvon Mullen, who has been one of the more consistent members of the defense since being selected in the second round in 2019. Clelin Ferrell was better in 2020, and Maxx Crosby is an absolute beast coming off the edge, racking up seven of the Raiders 21 sacks as a team this past season.
Is Gus Bradley the Raiders’ most important offseason addition?
The Raiders brought in a bunch of new faces via free agency, and the 2021 NFL Draft, but Gus Bradley may be the most important new face of them all. During the 2020 offseason, Las Vegas added a bunch of talent on defense as well, but Guenther could not get the defense moving in the right direction.
An architect of one of the greatest defenses in recent memory, the “Legion of Boom,” Bradley has had more than enough success as a defensive coordinator in this league. If he can turn around this Raiders defense, there is enough talent on the other side of the ball for the Silver and Black to win at least ten games this upcoming season.
The Las Vegas Raiders aggressively addressed their defense this offseason. See which three incumbent defenders this affects most and why.
If the Raiders are to do anything of substance this season, it will be because Bradley was finally able to get the defensive side of the ball moving in the right direction. They have added a ton of new faces, and have bolstered position groups that were weaknesses this past season, so now Bradley has to find a way to put it all together.