Jon Gruden has hired Gus Bradley to be the Raiders new defensive coordinator, with the idea that Bradley will be able to significantly improve what’s been a lagging unit.
Since Gruden stepped out of the broadcast booth to coach the Raiders for a second time, the team has finished 26th, 19th, and 25th in yards allowed and 32nd, 24th, and 30th in points allowed.
In his first virtual press conference as Las Vegas’ DC, Bradley said Tuesday he wants to craft a defense that’s fast, physical, and finds ways to create takeaways.
But the Raiders have several young defensive players who need to take steps to further their development. In the last two drafts, the team has picked up defensive end Clelin Ferrell (No. 4 overall in 2019), safety Johnathan Abram (No. 27 in 2019), cornerback Trayvon Mullen (No. 40 in 2019), defensive end Maxx Crosby (No. 106 in 2019), and cornerback Damon Arnette (No. 19 in 2020). Of that group, Mullen and Crosby have displayed the most promise.
“I think there are pieces in place there. But to give you a fair assessment, I’d really like to have a chance to really watch the film because sometimes in a system they’re going to play differently,” Bradley said. “But I am excited. I know there’s a hungry group of guys and they want to get better.”
Though Bradley’s probably best known for running the Cover 3 system implemented when he was Seattle’s defensive coordinator, the coach said Las Vegas’ scheme will be multiple. But the key is to be able to rush the passer — something the Raiders haven’t done well since trading Khalil Mach to Chicago before the start of the 2018 season.
If you can affect the quarterback, you’ve got a good chance to help your team make it to that level that you’re all shooting for,” Bradley said.
Bradley plans to keep defensive line coach Rod Marinelli in place, but still has to meet with other members of the defensive coaching staff. Bradley said he’s interested in bringing on more assistant coaches he had on the Chargers if there are open positions with Las Vegas.