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Gus Bradley wants to build Raiders’ defensive front first

Las Vegas’ newly-hired defensive coordinator is famous for his work with Seattle’s secondary

Los Angeles Chargers v Las Vegas Raiders
Maxx Crosby
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

New Las Vegas Raiders defensive coordinator Gus Bradley is best known for his work as the defensive coordinator of the Seattle Seahawks.

At the beginning of the last decade, the Seahawks’ “Legion of Boom” secondary took flight under Bradley.

As he takes over the Raiders’ defense, Bradley still thinks the process begins on the front four, however.

“I know really where it all starts is up front,” Bradley said Tuesday. “I think that’s first and foremost — to get things right up front and then fill it in everywhere else. But, you need quality players at each level to be successful in the NFL and then the ability to really communicate that information to them so it truly looks like football.”

Getting more pass rush is the biggest need for Bradley. Defensive end Maxx Crosby led the Raiders with seven sacks and they got very little pass rush otherwise. So, scheming up that area will be Bradley’s biggest challenge.

Bradley, who was fired with the Los Angeles Chargers’ coaching staff last week, was attracted to the Las Vegas job, in large part, because of his relationship with Raiders head coach Jon Gruden. Bradley was Gruden’s linebackers coach in Tampa Bay from 2006-08.

“Coach Gruden and I have had experience together when we were together at Tampa,” Bradley said. “I was fortunate that he hired me from North Dakota State — both him and Monte Kiffin. So, we’ve known each other for quite a few years during that time.

“We stayed in contact when we see each other at the combine, but what I was really impressed with was when I came in here to interview, it was just the vision that Coach had. I had a chance to meet with [owner] Mark Davis — he was in on the interview and shared his vision.

“To hear Jon Gruden’s vision, [General Manager] Mike Mayock’s vision, it was something that was very good for me to hear and to see just how they are so closely related. It was just a very, very positive experience.”

Raiders fans now hope he Bradley experience is a positive one in Las Vegas.