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Raiders training camp: Big day for defense

Tuesday saw four turnovers for Gus Bradley’s unit

Los Angeles Chargers v Las Vegas Raiders
Trayvon Mullen
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

One of the biggest needs for the 2021 Las Vegas Raiders will be for their defense to come up with many more turnovers than in the recent past.

The Raiders had the third-fewest forced turnovers in 2020. They had just 10 interceptions, tied for the fourth-fewest in the league.

That was one of the biggest asks of new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley: his unit needs to get to the ball.

On Tuesday, at least, forcing turnovers wasn’t an issue as Bradley’s defense had a big day. It had three interceptions (one off starter Derek Carr and two off of backup Marcus Mariota) and had forced a fumble. The Raiders’ offense pounced on another fumble that was punched out by the defense.

Of course, there is a flip side and it is a reminder not to get overly fired up about big plays during training camp. The fact that the Raiders’ defense had a big day means the Las Vegas offense had a bad day ...

Mariota has struggled with interceptions this season and receiver Bryan Edwards, who flashed earlier in camp, has had some drops issues.

The reality is we shouldn’t get too high about the forced turnovers or too low about the offensive miscues. It’s camp. Things happen.

The key is to see if the defense can force turnovers in the next week’s scrimmage work with the Los Angeles Rams when the starting units will likely face each other often.

But the fact that the unit is seeing some success with turnovers is a good sign. Now, let’s see it happen against an opponent.