Is it Time for the Raiders to Move on From Defensive Coordinator Paul Guenther?

With all the talk this week of Derek Carr potentially finding a new team next year, it seems like an appropriate time to look at a much more likely (or at least more worthy) candidate to be handed a pink slip.

Unlike Carr, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone clamoring for the Raiders to retain defensive coordinator Paul Guenther after the season. The expectations for Guenther’s defense weren’t high this year, but there have been problems with the defense over the past two years that don’t inspire a lot of confidence in Guenther going forward.

The Athletic’s Vic Tafur hit on some of the concerns this week. This is what he wrote about Guenther’s defense and it makes a lot of sense:

“I am writing Thursday on Joyner, and I agree the whole thing is weird. Especially when I asked Guenther about it last week and he said maybe they put him at safety next year when he is more familiar with the system. What?! I keep going back to Rashaan Melvin last year. The team wanted him, signed him, tried to change his playing style and it all went to hell. He left and is suddenly good again with the Lions. I like a lot of the things Guenther brings scheme-wise, but there are a lot of bad fits and miscommunications on and off the field that give me pause.”

Remember there was also game this year where Guenther found himself short-handed at safety and didn’t move Joyner back to safety. Instead, he went with inexperience at safety and the result was messy. Guenther’s reasoning for sticking with Joyner at nickel corner was that he hadn’t practiced enough at safety.

Again… what?

How complicated is Guenther’s scheme that a veteran safety (who was brought to Oakland in part for his versatility) couldn’t be moved back to his natural position for a quarter? And furthermore, why wasn’t Joyner prepared to move over in a pinch?

Even going back to last year, how does it happen that so many veteran defensive backs have trouble getting comfortable in Guenther’s system?

It definitely seems like there have been enough red flags over the last two years to have legitimate concerns about Guenther moving forward. But Gruden seems to like Guenther so maybe he will go the Jack Del Rio route and just add another defensive coordinator while keeping his current defensive coordinator, juggle the play-calling duties between both, and offer plenty of his own input into the calls, as well.

It seemed to work for… on second thought, don’t try that idea again.

Maybe just make a change at defensive coordinator… and make sure defensive line coach Brentson Buckner doesn’t get away in the process.

twitter: @raidersbeat


9 thoughts on “Is it Time for the Raiders to Move on From Defensive Coordinator Paul Guenther?

  1. Yup the defensive coordinator needs to be released, no improvement in 2 years or better yet with previous team. Also offensive coordinator needs to open up the playbook example: you have a 3rd and 12 and you throw a 3 yard pass never has worked Raiders need to utilize their receivers more bottom line start throwing more

  2. Why is not anyone pointing any fingers at Gruden , I mean 10 million a year , I mean what has he done in two years , way too conservative in his ball control offense , what happened to the vertical game ? Why has he locked in Carr as quarterback ? Why do the Raiders keep bringing in players that have to have their diapers changed everyday , stop kissing their asses

  3. No. Can’t build a defense without a big dollar FA at DE and without enough horses on defense!
    Look at the 9ers. Their back half isn’t great. My fatass could beat Sherman. Butt that pass rush makes them shine!!!

  4. I can’t remember ever knowing a Bengals defense that was any good the whole time Paul was D coordinator. Why is he getting the benefit of doubt with the Raiders… Oh ya, Gruden thinks he’s a future head coach, Gethafawkoutahere!!!

  5. I haven’t watched a full game all year but from what I’ve seen so far, yeah dump him. This is not Raider football by any means! I’m tried of this brand of football! It doesn’t work for me. We been so sorry for so long it’s getting old! I think we should get coordinaters and couches that live and die the silver and black way. Maybe we get our Mystique back! Get that nastiness back! Real Raider Nation ****!! Just Win Baby!!

  6. I have not seen this defense dominate anyone in the quite awhile. We have two games left to give me hope things are going to change. This team has not been good at second half adjustments all year. Good coaching makes changes and get results after halftime. We are way too predictable. Something needs to change. Players we gave up on are starting for other teams all over the NFL. More player swaps is not the answer.

  7. Guys, it seems to me there are only two people involved here with your hypothesis.
    Paul Gunther – defensive coordinator
    Jim O’Neil – defensive back coach

    If you are frying either one fine, but why re-tweet vague-*** comments such as
    “Pundit/former player saying the coaching is so bad it’s setting DB’s up for failure.”
    Who said that?

    Gareon Conley is not a good CB ranked 87th per PFF

    Rashaan Melvin is not a good cornerback ranked 139th per PFF

    If you want to criticize the coaching fine, they deserve it. But there are only two people involved.
    Why don’t you ask the coaches what’s going on? That’s journalism.
    There is no ‘ Deep State’

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