Rod Marinelli, who was named late Sunday to replace Paul Guenther as defensive coordinator, faces a formidable challenge getting a woeful Raiders defense straightened out in time for the team to make a successful run to the playoffs.
That seems almost impossible given the Raiders rank 30th in the NFL in points allowed (30.1), 25th in yards allowed per game (384.2) 30th in sacks (15), 29th in third-down conversion percentage (50%) and 25th in turnovers forced at 15.
Not to mention they are coming off a three-game stretch in which they have given up an average of 38.3 points per game.
With time of the essence, the Raiders are frantically turning to Marinelli with the hope he can create a short-term surge of momentum defensively.
Long term, it isn’t yet clear what the Raiders plans to do with the defensive coordinator position. If they do decide to go outside their building for a permanent replacement, at least one prominent NFL coach is keenly interested.
According to people close to Wade Phillips, the 44-year coaching veteran and architect of the Denver Broncos defense that helped bring a Super Bowl championship to the Mile High City in 2016 is itching to get back to the NFL and is particularly interested in the Raiders’ opening.