Expectations were high for the Las Vegas Raiders going into the 2020 season after making a number of additions in the draft and free agency on both sides of the ball.
Unfortunately, the result was the Raiders finishing 8-8 and missing the postseason for the fourth consecutive year, leaving Jon Gruden and his staff more questions than answers going into the offseason.
The biggest weakness for the Raiders, once again, was their defense, who finished 25th out of 32 teams in total yards allowed and 30th at 29.9 points per game allowed.
That resulted in defensive coordinator Paul Guenther losing his job a few weeks ago, forcing Rod Marinelli to take over to finish out the year.
While Marinelli will likely remain on Gruden’s staff moving forward, it does not appear that it will be as the full-time defensive coordinator. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the Raiders are beginning their search for a new defensive coordinator by interviewing Gud Bradley, who is one of the top candidates along with Raheem Morris and Joe Barry:
The #Raiders have now officially requested permission to interview #Chargers DC Gus Bradley for their vacant DC job, source said. A top candidate, along with #Falcons interim coach Raheem Morris (if he doesn’t get a head coaching job) and #Rams assistant Joe Barry.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 4, 2021
Bradley has a ton of NFL experience, including serving as the linebackers coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2006-08, defensive coordinator of the Seattle Seahawks from 2009-12, head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2013-16 and defensive coordinator of the Los Angeles Chargers from 2017-20.
With head coach Anthony Lynn being fired by the Chargers this week, Bradley is now looking for a new job and could very well reunite with Gruden, who he coached under in Tampa Bay.
Morris is another coach who worked under Gruden in Tampa Bay and even succeeded him as head coach from 2009-11. Morris did a solid job as the interim coach of the Atlanta Falcons to finish out this season and is reportedly in the running for their full-time gig, so whether or not he comes to the Raiders would depend on that.
Like the other two, Barry also worked under Gruden in Tampa Bay, where he was the linebackers coach from 2001-06. Barry also served as Gruden’s brother Jay’s defensive coordinator with the Washington Redskins from 2015-16 and has most recently coached linebackers for the Los Angeles Rams.
It remains to be seen how many other candidates Gruden will interview for the defensive coordinator job, but this list shows that he is looking for someone he has a history with throughout his coaching career.