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Silver Minings: Gus Bradley talks scheming against Ravens

Raiders’ defensive coordinator weighs in on the challenges of stopping the Ravens

NFL: Las Vegas Raiders at Los Angeles Rams Joint Practice
Gus Bradley
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Ahead of the matchup on Monday Night Football against the Baltimore Ravens, Las Vegas Raiders’ defensive coordinator Gus Bradley spoke to the media about defending Lamar Jackson and the Ravens’ potent offense.

“Well, [Jackson’s] so talented,” said Bradley on Baltimore’s quarterback. “I think there’s a lot of respect around the league about his ability to run and how he makes people miss and extends plays. But his passing abilities now too, you look at third down, I think he was like ninth in the league in quarterback efficiency. So, I mean he’s got the whole game now. He’s very talented. He can make the throws, he can run, extend plays. That’s why he’s so difficult to defend.”

The Ravens have suffered a handful of injuries recently, including losing three running backs in a span of 12 days. That will obviously impact the Raiders’ defensive coordinator’s game plan, and he was asked about how difficult it is to prepare not knowing who Baltimore will be featuring.

“I give them credit, Coach [Greg] Roman and the whole staff there. They’re so diverse. They can hit you a number of ways. They can line up and just pound you. They can run the option game. They can come back and do quick game. They can go deep. There’s so many things they can get to. Truly feel bad for all those situations. You feel for the players and what they’re going through. But I know him well enough that they’ll adjust, and I think their offense gives them so much flexibility that they can really guide it to maybe one area or the other. We’re just going to play the ball and try to do what we do.”

“I would say there is some truth to that because you just don’t know. Now what? What are they going to do and where are guys at? But again, having a relationship with Greg [Roman] and knowing him, he’ll adjust. And it’s not going to slow them down at all. They’ll just put pieces in there. This is the NFL, and everybody is extremely talented. The guys they signed, extremely talented, so we know we are going to get their best shot. We understand that part of it and like I said we got a lot of respect for how they attack defenses.”

Bradley also commented on how to slow down the Ravens’ Pro Bowl tight end, Mark Andrews:

“There’s some teams that you play that you have to have great awareness where people are, and I think he’s one of those guys. Like a [Travis] Kelce, where is he? Darren Waller, where is he on the field? And he’s one of those guys. I think you have to have great awareness. There’s a lot of trust built in him. There is a lot of plays that maybe other teams don’t throw, but with him they will challenge you and throw it because of how much trust they have with him. So, he’s a guy that we have to have really good awareness where he’s at. Both in the run game and in the pass game, but he’s such a threat in the pass game and he’s made a lot of big plays for them.”

Rookie safety Tre’von Moehrig expects to play a big role on Monday Night and for the rest of the season, and playing against a talent like Jackson can put a lot of pressure on safeties. Bradley spoke about the plan for the rookie and gave some insights on what’s going to be expected of him.

“That’s another good point. There is. I mean the style we play; we’re playing more split safety and things like that. So, he’ll have help back there, but I think that he’s got to have a great understanding that when you’re back, you’re back on these guys. Then there’s those runs. I mean some of these quarterback runs now they create an extra gap and it’s either a high effort play, or you utilize one of the safeties. So, he’s aware of that, but he really hasn’t been tested. We try to test him in practice, so there’s a lot of unknowns. But what we’ve seen in practice, we’ve got a high ceiling for him. We like how he’s come along.”

In other Raiders’ links:

  • Gladys Knight to sing National Anthem: “The Raiders are like family to me and I’ve been a Raiders fan for decades. To be able to honor our country, the Raiders team and my home of Las Vegas by singing the Anthem, it is just so special,” said the 10-time Grammy winner.
  • Brian Sandoval to light torch: the former Nevada Governor and current president of the University of Nevada, Reno, who was instrumental in bringing the Silver & Black to the Silver State.
  • Gruden builds home in Vegas: five beds and seven and a half bathrooms on 1.7 acres with a price tag of $4.31 million. Must be nice to have a $100 million contract.
  • Ravens sign former Raider: Latavius Murray became the newest member of Baltimore’s backfield after signing a one-year deal.