The Las Vegas Raiders have their new defensive coordinator.
The team announced on Tuesday that it has hired Gus Bradley, who was most recently the defensive coordinator of the Los Angeles Chargers (2017-2020). He previously served as head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars (2013-2016) and defensive coordinator of the Seattle Seahawks (2009-2012). Bradley also has a connection to Raiders head coach Jon Gruden, as he was hired by Gruden in 2006 to be a quality control coach and later linebackers coach with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Last season, Bradley's Chargers defense finished the season ranked 10th in yards allowed, 23rd in points allowed and 20th in efficiency, per Football Outsiders' DVOA. His defenses in prior years with L.A. fared a bit better, despite the team dealing with various injuries throughout his time there. The Jaguars defense was largely subpar with Bradley as head coach, but he helped build what would eventually become one of the most dominant defenses of the 2010s during his time with the Seahawks.
The Raiders moved on from former defensive coordinator Paul Guenther toward the tail end of last season, replacing him with defensive line coach Rod Marinelli, who served as the interim coordinator. With Bradley coming on board, the Raiders will likely remain in a 4-3 base defense, while moving toward heavy usage of cover 3 zone schemes in the passing game, which Bradley -- like other former Seahawks assistants -- deploys heavily.
The Raiders have been a considerably below-average defense throughout the second Gruden era, and will need to show great improvement on that side of the ball in order to make a significant jump forward in their quest for a playoff berth.