Is Paul Guenther’s Time With the Raiders Nearing an End?

After a disastrous three-game stretch and another underperforming season overall, the Raiders defense is once again among the worst in the NFL. Defensive coordinator Paul Guenther has been under fire all year and it’s fair to wonder if he might actually be fired at the end of the season.

The decision on whether or not to retain Guenther will come from head coach Jon Gruden and according to The Athletic’s Vic Tafur, Gruden “loves the guy.”

But will that be enough to save Guenther’s job?

There is a case to be made that Guenther has been working with one of the most talent-depleted defenses in the NFL, but it’s also fair to wonder why costly free agent acquisitions like Lamarcus Joyner (among others) haven’t been able to find a niche in Guenther’s defense. Guenther’s scheme isn’t the most complicated, but pre-snap communication has been an ongoing issue all season and blown assignments in coverage feel like they are happening on an every-other-play basis.

As of now, only three teams have given up more points per game than the Raiders and only four teams have given up more yards – and this comes despite the Raider having an offense that ranks in the top half of the league in time of possession.

Gruden might love Guenther (they reportedly carpool to work every day), but the head coach and general manager Mike Mayock will have to find answers before next year. As much as the talent level might be to blame, the defense isn’t going to become the most talented group overnight. Other teams like the Jets have been able to withstand injuries and remain among the better defenses in the league, so Guenther’s task isn’t unprecedented.

If the Raiders defense doesn’t show improvement in the next three weeks, it’s hard to imagine Guenther will make the trip to Las Vegas with the Raiders. Nice guy as Guenther may be, coaching is always judged on performance and right now the Raiders defense is performing as poorly as it has all year.

It’s also been interesting to see Gruden seemingly having a lot more to say to Guenther on the sidelines between defensive plays. Maybe that’s always been the case, but it feels like it’s happening more often. Or maybe the cameras are just catching it and showing it more often.

Whatever the case, Gruden has made a lot of excuses for the team all year – both for the offense and the defense. It will be interesting after the season to see which if those excuses he really believes… because the draft and free agency are coming, but they aren’t going to fix everything that’s gone wrong this year with the Raiders.

twitter: @raidersbeat


5 thoughts on “Is Paul Guenther’s Time With the Raiders Nearing an End?

  1. I guess he will be fired since everything that occurs as result of ones coaching renders him the culpable party. However, that being deciding factor can it not be said that Gruden the headcoach should also be fired? In fact, Gunther’s ability to produce desired results are impatcted directly by players Gruden provides. If any coach could have produced good results with the players Gruden provided and the injuries constantly impeding defense then id like to meet him.

    Ultimately what it all boils down to the responsibility lies at the feet of Gruden. Gruden himself proclaimed publicly that should he fail in return he would give back his contract money – Well go to bank and get to stepping Gruden. He has failed in big way and to allow him the length of his contract is absurd. He demanded unprecedented contract and boasted many things (as well as allowed public boasting on his behalf) and as such he created a high expectations from Raiders Organization and most certainly the Fans. He has failed to live up to those expectations and should do honorable thing which is resign.

    He will not return his money from contract especially since he demanded such a lengthy term and almost entire amount guaranteed. Gruden is not an honest person and has deceived many people (tried for some of the ones like myself that saw thru many of his lies and games). Regardless his return has been nothing short of disastrous and will be forever historically mentioned in demeaning fashion and stain for Raiders Organization throughout time.

  2. Guenther has more talent than he did last year, but the results are largely the same. Hard to say he’s the problem but schematically, he’s a large part of the problem. It’s not hard for offensive coordinators to solve Guenther’s defense. He used a much more complicated scheme in preseason. I don’t get it.

  3. Ray Charles could see the Raiders never had a defense for the last couple of years,Kalia Mack was it,the never had a decent defensive backfield,since Charles Wilson was drafted.I don’t know who their scouts are but thy should be FIRED.You simply can’t win without a defense,unless your name is Ms Thomasine Brady

  4. Guenther has to go. Yeah, we have a young group of guys on D in many spots, but we should not have lost to teams that are worse than us. I’m not always a huge Carr fanboy, but he left the field with a 10 point lead. That ugly loss is not his fault. I can take loosing to KC or the Vikes or Packers, but we should have beaten the Jets, and demolished the Bengals and Jags. The defense this year has been awful, and I have to put the blame on Guenther’s back in re: Prep and scheme.

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