The Raiders’ defense has been the club’s most prominent issue since Jon Gruden returned to coach the team in 2018.
While the unit made some strides in 2019, it regressed in 2020 to finish at 25th in yards allowed and 30th in points allowed.
After Gruden hired Gus Bradley as defensive coordinator in January, the team has spent the offseason program getting the entire playbook installed. In an appearance on the Raiders’ “Upon Further Review” podcast, defensive end Maxx Crosby said that process is going well so far.
“They’re putting a lot on us mentally so we can learn on the fly and get everything in, because on game day, you’re not calling every single call, but you’ve got to be ready. You’ve got to know everything and be prepared,” Crosby said. “So coach Bradley does a great job. Me personally, I know once I mess up, I feel like that’s how I learn. Like, ‘Oh I messed up on that last time, I know that I need to do.’ And everybody’s different. So it’s been a great process. Everybody’s learning, everybody’s bought in. At the end of the day, our defense has got to get a lot better and we’re just working. That’s what we’re doing every single day and it’s been awesome.”
Crosby has led the Raiders in sacks in each of his first two pro seasons, with 10.0 in 2019 and 7.0 in 2020. If Bradley’s scheme paired with the signing of edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue work out, Crosby should have plenty of opportunities to get after QBs in 2021.