Opposing Coach Explained a Notable Weakness in Raiders’ Defensive Scheme Under Paul Guenther

The Raiders are enduring one of the worst defensive seasons in recent memory, and according to a recent article in The Athletic, there has been a notable alignment issue that opposing team’s have been attacking this year, particularly in the running game.

“There were… some consistent schematic issues that showed up week to week,” an opposing coach told The Athletic’s Ted Nguyen. “For example, the Raiders play with a ‘soft edge,’ meaning they have their defensive ends line up inside or crash inside of tight ends, which isn’t a bad strategy; but if no one is properly fitting the edge for the ends when they do this, it leads to easy outside runs.”

“We noticed they’d crash their end inside a lot but no one would fit off of him. So if we sealed the nickel, we could get outside and let their end take himself out of the play. I know they did that against Kansas City a lot, too.”

For what it’s worth, the Raiders’ defensive ends haven’t enjoyed great pass-rushing success from these alignments, either. It hasn’t been uncommon this year to see their defensive line get “bottled up” and it was a problem again in week 14 against the Colts.

This was the first pass rush of the game on Sunday.

It’s also notable that when defenses fail to hold the edge against the run, it generally leaves cornerbacks on an island to make plays.

There is a case to be made that containment in recent weeks may have played a part in Damon Arnette suffering concussions in back-to-back weeks… more so involving his second concussion against the Jets.

Not that Arnette couldn’t have shown better tackling form, but injuries are bound to happen when 195-pound defensive backs are involved in too many collisions around the line of scrimmage.

Just a little food for thought.

twitter: @raidersbeat


24 thoughts on “Opposing Coach Explained a Notable Weakness in Raiders’ Defensive Scheme Under Paul Guenther

  1. I have said all along that the Raiders have the wrong scheme for the players they have. Why this is news baffles me!! I think most teams adjust the scheme to the players abilities and the Raiders have not figured that out yet. You out your players in the best position to succeed. The defense is trash because the scheme is trash. I have not seen a defense out of position on almost every play in 55 years of watching football!! And every other team knows it!! The new coordinator is not going to help this year because the defense has too many bad habits already to fix!!. Hire Wade Phillips and start fresh next year with a new scheme

    1. If it was so obvious to other coaches, you would think it would be obvious to an offensive genius. What seems obvious is that Gruden did not spend much time watching his own defense’s game tape.

    1. Shocked when I red an article today stating that, at this junction, Tom Cable had a better win record than Gruden! Ouch!!! It ALL goes back to Mark Davis.

  2. After Thursday night’s loss I think the Team..Special Teams as well can’t focus. Dumb plays..why didn’t Gruden call a QB option on the last drive when they were 1st and goal???

    1. Gruden hasn’t improved the team’s culture. They STILL find creative ways to lose. They just EXPECT to lose! Gruden will need to hit a home run with, both, the new DC and draft. I’m not convinced he’ll get the job done.

  3. Right on! and horrible pass defense,makes for a real nightmare for us to watch way to many “wtf was that?” BUT wait til next year!

  4. The defense needs major work I was watching the game in disgust they couldn’t stop anything the chargers did

  5. Guenther is not his father.. Running an archaic scheme got him fired! The Raiders need to go with a 3-3-5 defense that will allow for them to set the edge and encourage more speed from sideline to sideline with maximum protection on the back end…

  6. A bright spot last night was Mariota’s play. I cringed with the bad defense. The defense needs the defensive coordinator version of Billy Martin. In other words, someone who knows how to get the best out of his players.

  7. Ginseng has got to be the next one to go for the sake of the team. Chucky is “Dead”!!

  8. The Raiders are garbage they always have the fall aparts around Thanksgiving. Why did the pastry chef of Paul Gunther keep his job for so long? Gunther was a pathetic dc. I hope they have a losing record what a bunch of losers.

    1. Raiders sucked before Gruden,and they will continue to suck.He has always been overated,it’s just who he is.

  9. I think Wade Phillips will do a good job with this young group. Sorry Rod I know four or five days is not enough of time to get a team ready for a game, but we looked like we had the same problems from before, poor tackling, penalties really hurt us. Just saying we will never beat anyone in the playoffs. Raidergatorced

  10. Gruden needs to say to himself do I want to coach. First of all, he fired a good d line coach,
    Then stay with the Dc for a year too long and make stupid calls on offense, he acts like he wants to go back to ESPN if that’s the case step 🚶 down right now…

  11. So Grudem who is a head coach didn’t notice it in film? He didn’t tell Gunther to stop running that type of defense? If another coach noticed it why didn’t the head honcho see it too?? Weird

  12. Gruden belongs in the booth. 1998 schemes wont work in 2020. Teams are to fast and skilled and seen it all. Without creativity then why come back to coaching? Why overpay an Oline for a pocket QB when it’s all about the Dual Threat and Weapons to compliment. All that $$$ spent on the OLine and Jacob’s has a paltry like 3.3/ypc – that’s sad. Hopefully W. Phillips comes and shapes things up but Gruden definitely nowhere near a QB whisperer as he self proclaims but a 2nd half choke artist.

  13. That first picture shows a lot of personnel bottled up inside. I would position my strong side DE in a 6 position in front of the TE. My weak side DE would be in a 9 position outside the tackle. My one DT would position himself in the A gap while the other DT would be in the B gap. The 3 LB’s would play their gaps and not over pursue. Just my opinion.

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