The Las Vegas Raiders’ roster has undergone a complete makeover this offseason through the draft and free agency, improving in every facet of the game.
A majority of the focus in free agency came on the defensive side of the ball, where the Raiders added a number of veterans like Cory Littleton, Nick Kwiatkoski, Damarious Randall, Jeff Heath, Prince Amukamara, Carl Nassib and Maliek Collins.
That should make for a much-improved unit in 2020, which has to be music to defensive coordinator Paul Guenther’s ears after his young defense struggled for much of the 2019 season.
Guenther has been doing this for a long time though, and may have even been the reason the Raiders were able to get some of those veterans. Amukamara had heavy praise for Guenther as he has been following him since his days with the Cincinnati Bengals, via Kyle Martin of Raiders.com:
“With Paul’s defense, I followed him when he was at Cincinnati and you can see the guys are aggressive, and he likes for his guys to press and I think that’s where I flourish,” he said. “I’m one of, if not the best, corners in press, man-to-man coverage in the league and I have the tape to show that, which is why I’m saying that so boldly.
“[Guenther] seems like he’s the kind of guy that likes to attack, he doesn’t sit back and wait for the game to come to him. You like that as a defensive player because you know you have a guy who’s going to send pressure and who’s going to take it, and put you in a position to make those plays.”
Amukamara has played on three teams throughout the course of his nine-year NFL career so is familiar with a number of different defensive schemes.
He should be a big help as a veteran in the Raiders’ young secondary, helping develop players such as Trayvon Mullen, Damon Arnette, Amik Robertson and Johnathan Abram.
Having so many veterans will not only benefit the Raiders’ young players, but Guenther as well considering there won’t be many in-person workouts to benefit from this offseason. While a lot of the veterans are new to the team, Guenther should still be able to rely on them due to their experience and success in the league.