Report: Paul Guenther Spent A Month Teaching Assistant Coaches His Defense

Listening to Raiders defensive players talk about last season, it has become more and more evident that communication was a major problem under the Jack Del Rio think tank.

Coaches last year were preaching messages that weren’t always streamlined.

This year, defensive coordinator Paul Guenther is out to change that.

A Sports Illustrated story last week reported on the work the Raiders new coaching staff has put in to make sure the message is consistent throughout the building.

In fact, Guenther took a full month of the offseason to teach his defensive system to his assistants, according to the SI report:

“After the base stuff, it’s on to coverage. Then blitzes. After that, Guenther and his coaches do the whole thing over again, this time a little faster. That’s Phase 2. In Phase 3, coaches are called up to the board to teach this stuff themselves. By then, it’s mid-March. With the weather a little nicer, the coaches go outside and walk through everything, with cameras and microphones recording it. This three-phase process follows a similar pattern that the Raiders use for players on OTAs.

Speaking of players, Guenther and his assistants still had to learn theirs. They’d hold the daily system installation meetings from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m. The late afternoons and evenings were spent watching film on Oakland’s defense. Defensive coaches know everything about the players they coach and the offensive players they’ve faced in the last year or two.”

Sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? Especially considering one among last year’s defensive staff was said to be one of the first out the door most days.

As for the communication between Guenther and his boss, that probably won’t be a problem, either. Guenther and Jon Gruden apparently live a few doors down from each other (same report) and carpool to the facility together each day at 4 o’clock in the morning.

On a side note, inquiring minds would like to know… do the two amigos beat Derek Carr to the building at that hour?

twitter: @raidersbeat


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