The Las Vegas Raiders‘ hunt to find a new defensive coordinator is starting to heat up. The team has already been linked to Gus Bradley, Joe Barry and Raheem Morris but it looks like another name has been added to the mix. According to Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the Raiders have interviewed former Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Kris Richard.
Richard has a number of connections to the Raiders right now. He actually played for the team back in 2007. He was also Rod Marinelli‘s defensive backs coach in Dallas for a couple of years. In fact, he was the one calling plays for the defense from 2018 to 2019. The Cowboys had a solid defense under Marinelli and Richard.
The most notable time of his career was when he was Seattle’s defensive coordinator from 2015 to 2017. In his three years, the Seahawks finished top-10 in scoring defense every year. Richard also deserves some credit for the “Legion of Boom” as he coached cornerbacks in 2011 and coached all the defensive backs from 2012 to 2014. He’s got a Super Bowl from his time with the Seahawks in 2013.
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Richard Might Be Applying for More Than Just DC Job
Richard has a good resume and could be a solid hire as the defensive coordinator if that’s what the Raiders want. However, it’s possible he would be open to other jobs. He’s an excellent defensive backs coach. Richard has coached a number of defensive backs that have gone on to become Pro Bowlers and All-Pros.
The Raiders secondary does have talent. Johnathan Abram and Damon Arnette were both first-round picks while Travyon Mullen was an early second-round pick. If there’s anybody who can help coach those young defensive backs to their potential, it’s Richard. Rod Marinelli clearly has Jon Gruden’s trust. The fact that he trusted Richard to call plays for him shows that Marinelli likes what he brings to the table. Plus, if they hire Gus Bradley as the defensive coordinator, it’s fair to assume that he’d be happy to have Richard coaching his defensive backs again.
Who Will the Raiders Hire?
As of right now, it appears Bradley is the favorite for the defensive coordinator job. He used to work for Gruden and has had a lot of success. The team still needs to interview Joe Barry but his experience is mostly coaching a 3-4 defense, which Gruden doesn’t want to implement right now.
The Raiders have also been linked to Raheem Morris, who would be an excellent hire. However, it doesn’t seem like that’s the route the team is going to take. What seems the most likely at this juncture is that Bradley gets hired as the defensive coordinator and Richard is brought in to coach the defensive backs. Marinelli would go back to coaching the defensive line if that were the case. With Bradley, Marinelli and Richard, the Raiders would have three men on staff who had success as defensive coordinators in the league. That could be good news for a team that’s struggled on defense for years.