On Sunday, Raiders defensive coordinator Paul Guenther endeared himself to hardcore fans. For the first time in years, Oakland employs a defensive coordinator from camp that speaks plainly. In addition, Guenther’s candor is a refreshing change from the rah-rah stylings of Ken Norton. If the Raiders play as well as their coach thinks/expects, the defense will enjoy a marked improvement over previous seasons. In true Grudenesque form, Guenther did not shy away from the tough topics.
When the Raiders signed the veteran defensive back, nary an eyebrow appeared raised. Gilchrist looks to play primarily in subpackage roles. In the modern NFL, the need for secondary depth remains at an all. So far, Gilchrist caught Guenther’s eye.
I’ll tell ya, I told Marcus I said, ‘When you’re done playing we’ll hire you as a coach.’ He’s smart and he understands the big picture. He can play nickel, safety, corner, so when you have a guy like that you can utilize him against tight ends, receivers, or backs coming out of the backfield. He’s been a great asset for us.”
Whether this serves as a wakeup call for Obi Melifonwu and Karl Joseph remains to be seen. Guenther cherishes versatility. If Gilchrist continues to shine in camp, he could make the cutdown list exciting and worrisome for teammates.
By now, we all saw the photo of Arden Key’s display of dexterity. However, the former LSU star arrived with more questions than answers. On the other hand, the Raiders did roll the dice on Key’s explosion, length, and upside. Guenther spoke in glowing terms.
“ a talented rusher as we know, that’s why we drafted him. He’s doing a good job of playing the runs how we want him to play the runs, we know he can rush, he’s special that way. So, obviously we came out here in pads and he showed the same thing he did in shorts, so it’s exciting to have him out there.”
For the most part, Paul Guenther appears confident in his first few days at camp. The Raiders will benefit from a sound defensive scheme and the ability to actually adjust on the fly.