Let’s face it, Gus Bradley was collateral damage in Las Vegas.
He did a good job in his only season as defensive coordinator for the Las Vegas Raiders. He did nothing to deserve to be alone with the team.
If the Jon Gruden saga had never happened, Bradley would be gearing up for his second season in the desert. However, with Josh McDaniels taking over as head coach, it was clear that many coaches would not return and Bradley was caught in the middle of this unfortunate reality and now he is the defensive coordinator of the playoff competition. of the AFC, the Indianapolis Colts.
The defense improved under Bradley and the players responded to him. Yet one of his most underrated aspects of success in Las Vegas was his ability to recruit.
The Raiders had a better year in the free agent market than previous years under Gruden and former general manager Mike Mayock. In my opinion, Bradley deserved a lot of that credit.
The Raiders added seven defensive players who worked under Bradley in Seattle, Jacksonville or with the Chargers. They were defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, linebackers Denzel Perryman and KJ Wright, cornerbacks Casey Hayward and Brandon Facyson, defensive tackle Darius Philon and safety Roderic Teamer. Bradley was the direct reason most of these players came to Las Vegas.
Ngakoue, Perryman and his teammate are under contract for 2022, while Hayward, Facyson, Wright and Philon (who suffered a serious knee injury in Week 18) are all free agents.
It will be interesting to see if the Raiders want the pending free agents or if they want to return without Bradley. I could see Hayward being a target of the new regime or of course and maybe Facyson. Interest in Philo may depend on health.
Either way, Bradley’s impact in Las Vegas was brief, very strong.