Raiders’ hire Gus Bradley as new defensive coordinator

Many have tried and failed, but it’s up to Gus Bradley to solve the long-standing defensive issues of the Raiders.

Bradley was hired by coach Jon Gruden Tuesday as the new Raiders defensive coordinator, the Bay Area News Group has learned.

The defensive coordinator for the Los Angeles Chargers for the last three years, Bradley succeeds interim coordinator Rod Marinelli, who took over when Paul Guenther was fired with three games remaining in the 2020 season.

Guenther was Gruden’s hand-picked choice as defensive coordinator when he returned to coaching in 2018.  The Raiders were at the bottom of NFL defensive rankings all season, with Gruden firing Guenther after a 44-27 loss to the Indianapolis Colts when both teams were playoff contenders.

It’s up to Bradley to upgrade a Raiders defense that has been poor for the better part of the last quarter century with only a few exceptions. Marinelli is expected to remain on staff as defensive line coach.

Bradley, 50, got his first NFL job on Jon Gruden’s staff with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2006 as a quality control coach under Monte Kiffin. Bradley had served as the defensive coordinator at North Dakota State.

He moved up to linebackers coach but lost his job when Gruden and the staff were swept out a month after a 31-24 loss to the Raiders to close out the 2008 season.

On Kiffin’s recommendation, Bradley got an interview with first-year Seattle coach Jim Mora, who was impressed enough to hire him as defensive coordinator.

“Monte says, `J.L., listen to me, I have got a guy here in Tampa that is one of, if not, the finest football coaches I have ever worked with,” Mora told the Seattle Post-Ingelligencer. “He’s an A-plus. He’s a once-in-a-lifetime coach. You need to talk to him.”

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Although Bradley had no experience as an NFL coordinator, Mora hired him. When he was fired after one season, Bradley retained the position under Pete Carroll.

With the Seahawks from 2009-12, Bradley, under Carroll’s guidance, molded a defense that included young talent such as Kam Chancellor, Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, K.J. Wright and Bobby Wagner. Seattle led the NFL in scoring defense (15.3 points per game) in 2012 and went from 7-9 to 11-5.

Bradley was then spent four seasons as the head coach with Jacksonville, going 14-48, before being fired. He then joined Anthony Lynn as the Chargers defensive coordinator.

Chargers cornerback Casey Hayward told the USA Today at the Pro Bowl in 2017 Bradley came with a big thumbs up from Sherman.

“He just said, `Man, you are going to love this guy! You are going to be willing to run through a wall for him because that’s the type of person he is,” Hayward said. “That got me excited. He said he is a really good mix for a cornerback because he will mix things up. He’ll play some (cover) three, he’ll play some man. He said Gus will mix things up and bring different pressures.”

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Source:: The Mercury News – Sports


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