All eyes are on the Las Vegas Raiders defense and their new shot caller, Gus Bradley, with the unit looking to finally get on equal terms as the offense.
Since Jon Gruden’s return to the sidelines, fans have seen the Raiders’ offense steadily improve each year. Sadly, the defense has largely been left in the wind. A lot of that had to do with Gruden’s hand-picked choice for defensive coordinator in Paul Guenther. Guenther, who was dismissed late last year, never got this unit going. In the end, Gruden had to let go of his friend and brought in a proven coach in Gus Bradley. Though it’s early, things are already changing according to quarterback Derek Carr.
Nonetheless, Carr did heap some praise on Guenther recently when he spoke to the press. By way of Vegas Nation, Carr mentioned that ‘Guenther is a real smart football coach. He knows what the offenses are doing.‘ However, he also acknowledged that sometimes a system just doesn’t mesh with its players. This would be the nice way of saying Guenther’s system simply didn’t work for the Raiders. Now, Las Vegas has Bradley bringing in his famed Cover 3 defense to the Silver and Black.
Will Bradley really change the Raiders’ defensive culture?
Along with a schematic change, it’s obvious that Bradley is already changing the culture within the Raiders. While fans have heard this before, the fact that it’s with the defense should spawn some optimism. Comparing him to Guenther, Carr mentioned that Bradley is also smart but has a presence about himself. As he said, ‘You can feel that.‘ Basically, when Bradley speaks, the whole defense listens, one lone voice commanding this unit unlike anything before in recent memory.
The amount of detail that Bradley pays attention to had Carr comparing him to his head coach as well. Considering just how bad the defense has been these past three years, turning it around will be a tall task for Bradley. However, with a solid record as a defensive coordinator, the Raiders defense does appear to finally be in good hands with camp underway.
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*Top Photo: Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal