New Las Vegas Raiders defensive coordinator Gus Bradley has his work cut out for him in 2021. A Pro Football Hall of Famer that once played under him recently spoke of him as a stabilizing presence.
When the Raiders moved on from defensive coordinator Paul Guenther, many wondered who could come in and fix things. Whoever the team’s brass decided to bring in was going to have an uphill battle. The defense struggled mightily to defend the pass and lacked a serviceable pass rush all season. To help relieve this, head coach Jon Gruden turned to his coaching circle and brought in Bradley. While many scoff and say this is typical of Gruden, at least Hall-of-Fame linebacker Derrick Brooks believes there’s more to this.
Are Raiders Trying To Recreate The Tampa Bay Bucs?
Brooks expressed happiness in knowing that many of his coaches from his Tampa Bay playing days have landed in Las Vegas. Speaking with Vic Tafur of The Athletic, Brooks said he’s happy for Bradley along with a few others such as Rod Marinelli.
In regards to the notion that Gruden sticks to his pals, Brooks weighted in. He attributes Gruden’s choice to bring in Bradley, and Marinelli before him, as successful people wanting to repeat their success. Bradley coming in will also help the coaching staff’s chemistry according to Brooks, hopefully this will lead to everyone on defense being on the same page.
Bradley is a man of actions not words
“It wasn’t what he said, but what he did.”
According to Brooks’ account of Bradley, it appears the new defensive coordinator believes in communication and trust. Putting an emphasis on loyalty and trust among the players and the coaching staff will be paramount in 2021. It seems from what Brooks said, the Raiders defense will go through a bit of a culture change. When fans think of Guenther’s reign, words such as loyalty, communication, and trust don’t exactly come to mind.
“We just wanted to reciprocate that effort and loyalty and give it back to him on a daily basis.”
As far as the Raiders go, it’s still unclear who will return for next season. There are, however, several current players that will benefit greatly from Bradley’s scheme. If the defensive coordinator can help change the culture of this defense, it will go a long way to building a healthier and more productive unit. We all saw how successful the Tampa Bay defense was for years during the 2000s. If the Raiders can recreate a fraction of that, the playoffs could be in the near future.
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