Report: Some Raiders Defensive Coaches “Never Felt Like They Had Enough To Work With”

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, former Raiders defensive coordinator Paul Guenther “really got into it” with head coach Jon Gruden’s during Sunday’s loss to the Colts.

Guenther was fired just hours following the game and based on Rapoport’s reporting on Monday, it seems obvious that Guenther (and possibly some of his defensive staff) doesn’t feel like he was given enough defensive talent to work with in Las Vegas.

“Look at what Paul Guenther was dealing with,” Rapoport said of the Raiders fired DC on Monday. “Yes, they gave up the third-most points in the NFL, but he also was dealing with an offense that spent the second-most in the NFL. $52 million more the Raiders spent on offense than they spent on defense. We know that was something that was frustrating to Guenther and the defensive staff. They just never felt like they had enough to work with.”

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From @GMFB: The #Raiders fired DC Paul Guenther with three games to go, though frustration had been building. Las Vegas spent $52M more on offense than on defense — including more at backup QB than the entire CB position. It left defensive coaches wanting more. pic.twitter.com/OcNQjJLVI1


It’s fair to point out that the Raiders have been talent-depleted on defense, but with the offseason additions of Cory Littleton, Nick Kwiatkoski, Carl Nassib, Maliek Collins, and first-round pick Damon Arnette, no one was questioning the Raiders defensive personnel in August. Guenther also had the luxury of playing alongside one of the top ball-control offenses in the NFL, but managed to give up more points per drive than any defense in the last 21 years.

So yes, there are excuses than can be used to defend the Raiders having a below-average defense. But there is no excuses for having arguably the worst defense the NFL has witnessed in the last 21 years.

If anything, the Raiders were probably a little slow to make a move on Guenther.

twitter: @raidersbeat

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27 thoughts on “Report: Some Raiders Defensive Coaches “Never Felt Like They Had Enough To Work With”

  1. The team has plenty of weapons on Defense. But I do agree that the team overspent on the backup QB. Now, I do blame the DC for not getting the most out of the defense, case in point Joyner/Littleton have severely underperformed and I dont blame the players, I blame the coaching for not developing a system that puts those players’ talents to best use.

  2. Could not stop the run. Could not get off the field on third downs. Could not get to Rivers which was big cause pressure on Rivers causes interceptions. I do believe the defense could use a couple more key players but as coaches you got to put something together that works in at least one area. Yesterday nothing worked.

  3. Guenther should have been fired after last season. Excuses don’t mean anything. The players are not the issue here, it’s the defensive coordinator. Bring in Wade Phillips and see how things work out.

  4. It’s about **** time…two years too late! There are enough workable pieces to mount an average defense for sure. Geunther got beat with the same plays and sets for theee years, and could never make in game adjustments in order to strengthen the defensive strategy. Mari Ellis has been awful with the Dline as well, and should only be an interim answer to finish the year.
    It’s time to stand up and man up to the facts…the defense attitude towards winning and overall play stinks! Hopefully we can hire Lovie Smith JR one of the polished, tried and tested DCs to cone in next year and get things straightened out for good.
    Thanks Jon Gruden for finally stepping up to the plate and doing what should have been done years ago. For now, there needs to be multiple adjustments in defensive personnel and sets. The defense can’t tackle or cover worth a ****; so it should all begin with focus on the fundamentals! Hopefully we can win these last three games and get into the playoffs; to be fixate list years and games of poor and stupendous coaching!
    Listen Gruden for once to true football minds. The offense is ok but use Moreau and the host of wide receivers to run hard the entire game with mid and deep routes vs getting stuffed at the line of scrimmage with antiquated run sets, no screens or jet pro, and predictable receiver sets.
    Here is your defense Marinelli:
    Crosby and Beasley at DE ( Nassib and Mckinkey rotate)
    Ferrell and Hankins at tackle ( Hurst and Smith rotate)
    Woolley at the slot with Robinson and Robertson to rotate
    Mullen and Lawson at corners ( Nixon and Arnette rotate)
    Joyner and Abeam at safety ( Harris and Heath rotate)
    Kwaitowski and Morrow at LB ( Littleton and Macmillan rotate)
    Note: All other rotations on defense and offense runs down the depth chart.
    We can suffice for the remainder of this year and make big changes during the offseason.

  5. The firing was overdue, no question. It’s an obvious statement to say “you can only work with what you have” but you still have to work with what you have and he didn’t. The defense was getting worse each week. Guenther’s interim replacement from what this year has shown us isn’t much better if at all. His pick in Maliek Collins did nothing. No pressure from the front line at all and that is Marinelli’s job. My uncle, Bud Carson, said when he was let go from the Browns HC position, he regretted bringing in too many “friends”. Lets hope Gruden doesn’t do the same thing.

  6. Littleton, Nassib and Collins were worthless. Kwiatkowski has outperformed all of them and deserves Littleton’s money. Jon Abram has turned into a liability, that is bad coaching. Arnette and Robertson, who looks lost on the field, bad coaching, they are rookies. Bad coaching by the defense with plenty of “talent” to work with. Ferrel and Crosby are very good, Crosby is so good he gets doubled and tripled, held and chipped every snap now. Hurst is not playing up to his potential, bad coaching. Hankins is a stud run defender and Joyner is making plays. Collins is the worst DT in the league and thats after being a stud last year. Guenther is lame, he was lame last year too. See ya, woildnt want to be ya. We should have hired Wade Philips a couple years ago after he left Denver. I know he is a 3-4 scheme guy but he is so much better than Guenther, I am sure he can coach a 4-3 scheme better.

    1. First, I agree with a lot that you wrote. But, should the Raiders hire Coach Phillips, where does it say we should play a 4-3 D ? True, he would have to acquire or develop Noseguard depth, but that is doable. It’s acutely obvious that our DE’s are getting pinned inside consistently the last two or three games. That doesn’t happen as easily with a 3-4. Plus, it allows so many more options for run vs blitz vs pass protect. Which makes the defense less predictable than at present. And with the mobility of the QB’s, both in our Division, and throughout the Conference, the 3-4 promotes greater and earlier presence in the opponents backfield, and that translates into more QB pressure and sacks. And a rushed QB contributes to Defensive turnovers, via sacks, fumbles and interceptions. However, the 3-4 requires more imaginative coaching, greater player discipline, and better communication among them. But one thing is painfully clear, a Defense that gives up 40+ points per game, and ranks in the lower quarter of the Conference is never going to win the Lombardi Trophy. So, what say you Marc and Mike and Jon and Rod, and Greg et al ? Is there enough humility in the house to make room for another Super Bowl pedigree member on your staff ? There’s no salary cap on coaches’ earnings, and it just could be the missing part that helps the Raiders reach that cherished pinnacle. GO RAIDERS !!!

      1. defence is what wins a championships…I’ve been a raider man since 1967…I’ve seen the good and bad of the silver and black…in the 70s the bad *** raiders defense was feared by everyone…we got respect…people don’t know that the 3-4 defence was created by John badass Madden…look at the Superbowl we on was on the backs of our defense…gruden is not a defensive minded coach….he won a Superbowl off the back of Tony dungys defence…. remember how Tampa Bay’s defense shut us down in the Superbowl…it wasn’t John grudens offensive mind that won the game..it was Tony dungy defence that did us in…I say get rid of gruden he’s a cancerous money hog…100 million man…he left the raider nation once before…he in it for the money…got mark Davis hoodwinked….wake up mark and hire a defensive coach…I’m tired of the raiders being a laughing stock on defense…

  7. Jeff Heath is better than Abram and along with others, we have been hurt by the injury bug. Also can anyone explain how there were 0 holding calls yesterday when I saw at least 3 blatant holds by the Indy OL. Refs helping them win as usual.

  8. If Collins and Littleton had played up to their reputations or abilities, this would be a different story, they have been sucking it up all season. Cant tackle and out of position always. Waste of money, talking about money spent on defense, just like Trent Brown. A huge waste of money, not Gruden’s fault.

  9. This Just says it all, now doesn’t it, and who should be fired next. Let the house cleaning begin.

    Gruden Teams Fade Down the Stretch (tried to tell you before, but you wouldn’t listen)
    By rg12jsl3 from FANPOST on Dec 13, 2020, 6:03pm PST

    Soooooo… if anyone has a rebuttal to my earlier post, in which I detailed Gruden’s atrocious record of choking down the stretch, I would love to hear it. (I wish Bill or Kenneth or one of these guys would do a writeup on this. But, seeing as they are derelict in their duty, I will do it for them.)

    As explained elsewhere, in painstaking detail, Gruden’s teams tend to fade and die in December — and sometimes, the tailspin begins in mid-November. In roughly half of his seasons as head coach, Jon Gruden’s teams have an astonishingly bad 2-26 record to close out the year. If it were even 10-18, or even 8-20, I would say he’s the ultimate choke artist. But 2–26 is not a coincidence, and it’s not cherry picking stats. It is incontrovertible proof of what a choke artist he is.

    Sometimes the truth is awful, and sometimes it hurts. We will never be a contending ball club with Gruden at the helm. If Gruden were a real man, he’d apologize to the fans for being a failure and resign today.

    2-26 down the stretch! A few highlights (or lowlights):

    1-5 to close out the season last year.

    1-5 to close out his rookie year as head coach with the Raiders after a 7-3 start

    0-4 to end his reign as buccaneers coach after a 9-3 start

    1-6 (or 2-5 at best) to finish this season, when we controlled our own destiny after a 6-3 start.

    Go ahead now. Report me and get me banned for reporting this data.

  10. Gruden let friendship come before the team – Period.
    Paul Guenther should have NEVER had that spot the first time around, let alone again.
    September 26th, 2020 Davis and Maycock SCREWED the Raiders chances of winning this year when they listened to Gruden
    What SHOULD have happened and what WOULD have guaranteed a playoff spot was way too easy and obvious….
    They should have fired Guenther, KEPT coach Brentson Buckner as line coach, with a raise and put Rod Marinelli as Defensive coordinator.
    But now the season is in jeopardy, without mathematical miracles and yet another post season without the Raiders…. Gruden is a ‘good’ offensive coach (he’d be great if he handled half time better) but a RAL head coach is responsible for both sides. How many more years can the Raiders afford to not make the playoffs?
    Almost EVERY single player and every coach is new under Gruden – Jack Del Rio coached 48 games with a 0.521 record (25-23-1) Gruden coached 45 games with a .400 record (18-27-0). Del Rio’s last two seasons the Raiders where 18-14 (12-4 / 6-10)…. Are the ANY better under Gruden?
    I love Gruden but the Colt’s head coach, Frank Reich in three years is 26-19 with one play off game and arguably a lot less talent

  11. Spending isn’t the key determinant when you have been drafting high on defense for the past two years. But the high draft picks on defense haven’t really panned out. This year’s draft appears to be a bust from top to bottom, but I am OK with giving players a second year to acclimate. From last year’s draft, Ferrell is OK, but not typically a game-changer, and Mullen is just OK. But Abram absolutely sucks, and needs to be benched to send him a message, Crosby is a one-dimensional pass rusher who is a huge liability in run defense, and I’m getting really tired of waiting for Johnson to start playing well. From the previous year Hurst is pretty good, especially for a fifth-rounder, but Hall is gone, and Key always seems to miss the big play by half a step.

    As far as defensive free agents go, Kwiatkowski seems to be the only one playing well. Letting go of Brown, Incognito, and Mariota will free up some money for the defense next year, but it won’t help unless the draft picks can start to perform.

  12. Money doesn’t create Organization and Preparation. No Excuses they are young men who need to be coached to work hard not go through the motions. Champions are made in Practice!

  13. Gruden has historically been a horrible finisher in all his time with Oakland, Bucs & now Oakland / LV, here we go again + Carr is just plain and simple NEVER going to take them anywhere – he is serviceable and that is about the maximum.
    They should have stuck with Jack Del Rio, now we have to go through this Gruden BS for 7 more years

  14. Gruden wanted somebody he could control. No Lbs – the QB of the defense. Gruden brought in all those has been. The roster is not balanced: 4 Yes, 10 OL, now 4 RBs. Still no D help on the practice squad. Look at all the developmental players on the O practice squad. I’m hoping Mayock can push back against Gruden, but look at the 2020 draft mostly O players.
    I could go on…

  15. How many top picks on defense? Like they didnt try to sign the best FA’s every year…. cant make players sign. Might as well spend the money where you can

  16. thank God they got rid of Guenther… next gruden I hope…he would not have won a Superbowl…if had not been for Tony dungy building up Tampa bay as a Superbowl contender

  17. Typical coaches, throwing the players they signed and drafted under the bus instead of owning the fact the he, Guenther, consistently didn’t get it done.
    Let’s review their draft picks from 2018 on:
    2018 – 5 of 7 players were on D, including PJ Hall, Arden Key, Nick Nelson, Mo Hurst and Azeem Victor. Only Key and Hurst are still on the team and both underperform Versus I their potential. Coaching.
    2019 – 6 out of 8 draftees on D, including 2 of 3 first rounders on D, including Cle Ferrel And Johnathan Abram.
    2020- 3 out of 7 draftees on D, including first and third rounders. 3rd and 5th rounders can’t get on the field.
    Are we supposed to believe that with 14 out of 22 draftees on D the last three years that Guenther has no say in who they were drafting and that they ifnored the D?
    How about the free agent signings this year? Mostly on D. 2 D linemen, 2 linebackers and a safety after signing Joyner to a big deal last year. Guenther immediately has Joyner play out of position to his weakness instead of his strengths. Same with Littleton who was a star for the Rams but lost in Guenther’s “scheme”, sounds like coaching to me.
    Total B.S.
    There’s a reason Ian Rapoport and others like him in “the media” instead of in the game, they are shallow and don’t know what they are talking about.

    1. Dungy could come out of the Press Box and take this team deep into the playoffs! Totally disappointing in gruden and mayock! Not good @ talent evaluation! Take a “Cue” from KC and Pittsburgh and look @ the talent from the mid level conferences they produce! Being a lifelong Raiders fan, it pains me to say this Sorry to say but i dont see anything changing soon! Where’s Madden, Flores, Plunkett Snake, Long, Martin, Haynes, Hayes Tatum, Atkinson etc, when we need them? Show the present cast of underachieving bums assembled, films of the HOF’ers that got it done and what its Truly like to be a Raider!! No more “EXCUSES” Gruden!!!! Get it done!! C’MON MAN!!!!

  18. It’s about time you got fired stop the run every week the same thing can stop the run the Jets ran all over the defense just like the colts did I was getting so tired of it, it’s time to move on now I’m happy hopefully they can get it done the next 3 weeks and maybe sneak into the playoffs and go on from there…

  19. It is very clear Guenther was not given the necessary personnel on defense. Gruden spent large sums of money on wrong players on both sides of the ball n could have easily afforded Mack by subtracting Trent Brown’s contract n very small portion of either Tyrell Williams, Joyner, or Littleton.

    Gruden has made such horrible decisions n its obvious he knew talent was lacking as he continued with Guenther as DC well beyond what most teams would have allowed. Either way, Gruden’s failure to relieve Guenther long ago or the true fact that Gruden horribly used his so-called- football genius to bring in incompetent talent (facts that cannot be disputed or overlooked) n is just cause for removal of Gruden himself.

    Gruden publicly guaranteed he would give back money for his contract n walk away if he were to fail. Hello everyone he failed big time. There are many coaches coming in at or around same time as Gruden n they produced immediately or sooner than Gruden (3rd highest paid coach but most control n longest tenure contract in league). The team we just faced in Colts support this as Reich (HC) took over same time Gruden did n took over team with inferrior record than that which Gruden inherited. Reich immediately produced with 10-6 record n playoffs n now is about to have them return for 2 of 3 years with good record and playoff appearance. Del Rio took over worse team than Gruden n he produced quickly but yet Gruden took his job n has more job security. How do u extend to someone undeserving things u didnt extend to coach that was deserving?

    You all in media n a lot of delusional fans sung praises of Gruden n created his bs excuse of rebuild when he never intended nor implemented any such plan until his plans went awry. He believed he was going to win immediately with adding all those aged vets making team oldest in league.

    Bottom line Gruden needs to go n all this window dressing distractions only delay what should have taken place. If team did not have THE WORST OWNER IN NFL HISTORY our product would be much better n fans happier. I mean you all praised Davis for fact that he fell into the Vegas deal dumb luck at best. He tried to go to other cities first. Al Davis n every other team owner would have never hired a person who has accomplished nothing in career bestowing upon him the keys to franchise n ridiculous contract. Al is turning in his grave. Guaranteed I could have team in better position than Gruden without much effort n that is flat out dead on accurate.

  20. We young pass rushers, nasty linebacker that can hit and tackle, two outside linebacker that can stop the run and cover, Abrams safety can’t cover liability, new corners that can cover 20 yards down field, we need some real leaders ,change defensive line there large and useless, next better keep Derrick Carr get him some Help, keep angular, Waller, Ruggs, and the little slot receiver, send the rest of the wide outs packing. Also get josh jacobs some Help, start blitzing more, Mr. Gruden our Team is to predicable every year, cornerbacks play way to far off, gruden we some players now not later, the key for 2021, pass rush, linebacker that can tackle and cover, new coners that can cover 20yards down field, and some new wideouts,

  21. it shouldn’t be all that hard to get your defense to be in the top 15…”average”. If the Raiders could do that and keep their offense in the top 10 they would be a perennial contender. It is awful as an offense to think you have to score 30 points every game to have a shot at winning. I don’t know who that is as a DC…but not Patricia!

  22. Glad the Whiner is Gone…. He obviously can’t coach worth a ****. Plenty of talent on the defense if they were Coached Up properly. He was NOT getting through to them. Many Defensive Players that he did not like in his almost three years have miraculously flourished when they signed or were traded to another team… coincidence? He may know football but he can’t coach. The worst that can happen with this move is that the Raider Defense goes from 32nd worst in the League to… well… 32nd worst in the League!!! In 3 Years PG’s Defense has given up a Score on 50% of opposing Drives!!! In 7 Years as a DC he only had One reasonable Year… And wasn’t Great. Go Blame someone Paulie…Good Riddance

  23. Why do our defense ends always go around the backside of a QB. They never take the offensive tackle to the QB. Attach the outside shoulder of the offensive tackle to collapse the pocket.

  24. Dungy could come out of the Press Box and take this team deep into the playoffs! Totally disappointing in gruden and mayock! Not good @ talent evaluation! Take a “Cue” from KC and Pittsburgh and look @ the talent from the mid level conferences they produce! Being a lifelong Raiders fan, it pains me to say this Sorry to say but i dont see anything changing soon! Where’s Madden, Flores, Plunkett Snake, Long, Martin, Haynes, Hayes Tatum, Atkinson etc, when we need them? Show the present cast of underachieving bums assembled, films of the HOF’ers that got it done and what its Truly like to be a Raider!! No more “EXCUSES” Gruden!!!! Get it done!! C’MON MAN!!!!

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