The Las Vegas Raiders’ defense was once again a major problem in 2020. From the front seven to the secondary behind it, all three levels struggled… again. As a result, Paul Guenther got the pink slip, making way for Gus Bradley to take on the role of defensive coordinator.
There’s been one constant to Bradley’s teams, a ballhawk safety. Johnathan Abram needs that piece next to him in the Raiders secondary. Under the tutelage of Bradley, the legion of boom thrived with Kam Chancellor at strong safety, but he needed Earl Thomas and vice versa. However, Las Vegas does not have that piece right now, and it shows. Their pass defense in 2020 was abysmal, ranking 26th in passing yards allowed and 27th in interception percentage, only managing ten on the season. Furthermore, four of those came in one game against the Broncos in Week 9.
How the Raiders can fix the hole at free safety
With free agency approaching, the Raiders need to have their eye out for players that can come in and contribute, but also at a good price. The Silver and Black are not in a great cap situation, although the recent release of Tyrell Williams helps. Moreover, players such as Lamarcus Joyner, Marcus Mariota, and Richie Incognito could also be taken off the books.
Players such as Anthony Harris and Marcus Maye would come with a higher price tag but would be immediate impact players. While Marcus Williams would be a little cheaper, but also still effective. The draft will also be riddled with players that can fix the free safety woes. Trevon Moehrig could be a candidate at 17. And although he struggles in run defense, he would match up well in the secondary with Abram.
Allowing the amount of yards and points the defense let up in 2020 is not acceptable. Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden have to fix their secondary to have success under a Bradley-led defense. Fixing the secondary will be a huge leap to get the defense back to serviceable.
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