Las Vegas Raiders: 3 Reasons the defense will be better than advertised in 2021
New Defensive Coordinator
Finally, let’s by addressing the elephant in the room. In the offseason, Las Vegas brought in former Seattle Seahawks and Los Angeles Chargers defensive coordinator and Jacksonville Jaguar head coach Gus Bradley. Bradley is taking over for Paul Guenther, who had a horrendous career with Las Vegas and is said to be the main reason for the defense’s struggles.
During Guenther’s stint with Las Vegas, the team ranked 29th in 2020, 24th in 2019, and 32nd in 2018. In those same years, Bradley’s defense fared much better and ranked 22nd, 14th, and 8th. The only reason why the team declined to 22nd in 2020 was because of how injury-plagued the Los Angeles defense was, and even that lower-ranking was still better than the Guenther’s highest defensive ranking.
So, at the very least, Bradley should do a better job than Guenther.
But that is at the very least. At most, Bradley can really mold this defense into a good one, one capable of being in the top-15 defenses in the league. So far, it seems he and his players are gelling well. Guys like Abram and Maxx Crosby already speaking about how Bradley’s coaching and personality is such a positive influence for the group.
Bradley has also helped Las Vegas bring in vets like Yannick Ngokoue and Casey Hayward, who should also help the young talent on the team develop.
With the improvements on the defensive line and in the secondary, and with the addition of a new defensive coordinator, then Las Vegas’ defense should be much improved in 2021. They might even have the potential to be top 15 in the league.