It’s official, the Las Vegas Raiders have landed respected defensive coach Rod Marinelli as their defensive line coach. It was reported back in January that the team was going to replace Brenston Buckner with Marinelli, but the team just made it official on Wednesday. Despite leading a formidable Dallas Cowboys defense for several years, Marinelli was not retained after Jason Garrett was let go.
The long time coach was a Jon Gruden favorite back in the day when he was with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Though he failed miserably as a head coach for the Detroit Lions, he consistently has led some of the best defenses in the NFL. Buckner did a great job laying the foundation for the Raiders’ young defensive line and now Marinelli could help take them to the next level.
Marinelli Could Be Raiders’ Next Defensive Coordinator
Nobody within the organization will say it, but the addition of Marinelli is clearly a message to defensive coordinator Paul Guenther. Marinelli wasn’t a free agent because he failed with the Cowboys. He still has the ability to be a great defensive coordinator. Guenther has struggled greatly since he took over for the Raiders. He had success with the Cinncinati Bengals, but that clearly hasn’t translated to the silver and black. Gruden still believes in him and thinks he could be a head coach one day. However, his leash is getting really short.
Adding a defensive mind like Marinelli to the staff is a good call because if Guenther continues to struggle and the team lets him go, they have somebody to take over who has loads of experience. If the Raiders invest heavily in the defense once again, the pressure is going to be on Guenther to figure things out.
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Austin King: Offensive Quality Control
The Raiders didn’t only announce the signing of Marinelli, they also have added Austin King as an Offensive Quality Control coach. King played in the NFL for five seasons as a center and actually spent some time playing for Jon Gruden when he was coaching the Buccaneers. Since he stopped playing, King has bounced around college football and has coached for Toledo, Syracuse and Dayton. His most recent gig saw him serve as the offensive coordinator for Dayton.
His focus will likely be on the offensive line and he should be salivating thinking about the group that he’s going to be able to work with. The Raiders offensive line is just oozing with talent and while they improved quite a bit in 2019, there’s still room to grow. King gets to work with three Pro Bowlers in Rodney Hudson, Richie Incognito and Trent Brown, as well as talented young players in Gabe Jackson and Kolton Miller. King will be new to coaching NFL talent, but he had success in the college ranks. There’s probably not a better group for him to start his NFL journey with. The Raiders did not announce that they let any coach go to make room for King.