2021 Raiders Rewind: Gus Bradley’s Lone Season As DC

Jeph Duarte Las Vegas Raiders, NFL

The Las Vegas Raiders hired Patrick Graham during the offseason, giving them a fresh face on defense. While it was a wonderful development for the club, it is crucial to recall the former coordinator who was writing up the plays this past season, Gus Bradley. He was famous for his Cover-3 defense, which focused primarily on the secondary. Several players, such as Nate Hobbs and Trevon Moehrig, blossomed under Bradley in 2021.

There are a lot of positives and disadvantages during the course of Bradley’s short tenure with the Raiders. So, let’s take a brief dive into his lone campaign in Vegas.

Highlighting the positives for the former Raiders coach

When his defense was implemented in the early stages of the season, the main purpose was to focus on the pass and to place less pressure on the opposition’s quarterback. Casey Hayward, Brandon Facyson, and Hobbs led the secondary, which all mostly held their own against some of the top offenses. Despite the lack of emphasis on the blitz in its absence, there were six interceptions and 74 total pass deflections for the defense. While that may not sound game-changing, it was an improvement over their previous approach under Paul Guenther. I’d like to highlight a couple games where the no-blitz defense actually worked.