Paul Guenther Seems To Think Reggie Nelson’s Struggles In 2017 Were Because Of The Scheme

There hasn’t been a lot of enthusiasm (outside of the team at least) about the return of 34 year-old Reggie Nelson to the Raiders.

After a disastrous 2017 season, Nelson was assumed to be an afterthought for the Raiders in 2018 and possibly even done with football for good.

Enter Paul Guenther, Nelson’s former defensive coordinator in Cincinnati, and suddenly Nelson is back on the map in Oakland.

Why did Nelson struggle so badly in 2017?

The Athletic’s Vic Tafur spoke with Guenther and Guenther’s explanation seems to have a lot (or everything) to do with last year’s coaching staff:

“Reggie knows our system inside and out. Reggie is the kind of guy if you tell him what to do and how to do it, he is going to do it exactly how you want him to do it. If there is any gray area in there, then maybe he is not going to be as effective… We got Reggie in Cincinnati out of Jacksonville. He was a first-round pick and we traded a seventh-rounder for him. We went into his body, pulled the wires out and re-wired him and he played at a high level for us. So, I am expecting nothing different here.”

Speaking of gray area, there isn’t much gray area in what Guenther believes held Nelson back last year.

What will be interesting to see is how much success Nelson will have considering his age (he’ll be 35 in September). Guenther has coached Reggie Nelson, but he’s never coached 35 year-old Reggie Nelson.

Remember, Nelson made the Pro Bowl with Ken Norton Jr. as his defensive coordinator in 2016, so scheme doesn’t necessarily explain everything that went wrong for him last year.

twitter: @raidersbeat


1 thought on “Paul Guenther Seems To Think Reggie Nelson’s Struggles In 2017 Were Because Of The Scheme

  1. Everybody forgets that this cat almost washed out of the league playing for JDR’s Jacksonville Jaguars. That’s how Cincinnati was able to get him for a 7th rounder in the first place

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