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The Las Vegas Raiders are hiring New York Giants assistant head coach Patrick Graham as their defensive coordinator, sources confirm to ESPN.
Graham, 43, joins newly hired head coach Josh McDaniels in Las Vegas after spending the past two seasons as the Giants’ defensive coordinator under Joe Judge.
Graham replaces Gus Bradley, who is on his way to the Indianapolis Colts to be their defensive coordinator after a season with the Raiders.
The Raiders have also hired a new quarterback coach in former New England Patriots quality control / QB coach Bo Hardegree and retain receiver receiver Edgar Bennett, sources told ESPN.
McDaniels was asked at his inaugural press conference on Monday what defensive plan he planned to use with the Raiders.
“Most of it today is actually built out of nickel anyway,” he said. “We talk a lot about 4-3, 3-4, [but] “85 percent of the game is now ‘sub’ defense, so your decision-making process may be a little different than it was 15 years ago when you played a lot more base defense.”
Graham ran a 3-4 base with the Giants, while the Raiders have run a 4-3 scheme.
“We take these considerations and decide how we want to move forward here, while somehow building the staff and moving with the team, but I think right now it’s built in that state,” McDaniels said.
“But like I said, most of these games you still play a four-man line and nickel defense, so it’s almost become your base.
“So the vision for us has to be – there are five starting defensive backs now and there are two linebackers and so on and so forth. We will perform due diligence when we hire our staff and then evaluate our team and decide, what’s best, as we move forward. “
Graham was with the Patriots from 2009-2015, where he served as a defensive assistant as well as defensive line and linebacker coach during his time there, which coincided with McDaniels’ return to New England in 2012.
Under Bradley, the Raiders defense improved from overall defense No. 25 in 2020 to No. 17 last season, but was last in the NFL defense in the red zone under Bradley (83.3% touchdowns and 6.29 points per game). trip in the red zone). ) and was penultimate in red-zone takeaways per. red-zone drive.
Raiders Pro Bowls defensive end Maxx Crosby was asked after AFC training on Thursday what he wanted to see in a defensive coordinator.
“I love Gus and I feel like he’s pointing us in the right direction,” Crosby said. “Of course I do not know, I do not know, but we will see. We must see.”
Graham also worked with new Giants head coach Brian Daboll from their time together (2013-15) in New England. Daboll said the team had hoped to keep Graham if he did not get a head coach job elsewhere.
“I’ve had a good relationship with Pat for some time in this league,” Daboll said at his inaugural press conference earlier this week. “He’s very diligent. He’s smart. I think the players respect him. He understands different defenses and I have a good working relationship with him. I did that when I was back in New England.
“We certainly hope he has an opportunity to become head coach. I think it’s everyone’s dream, but selfishly I would love that he was here. He offers a lot to our program. I think he would be a great support system for me and I hope it succeeds. “
The Giants’ defense was ranked No. 12 in the NFL in 2020 under Graham. It was the 21st this past season. Graham is highly respected by the Giants organization and had been interviewed for his head coaching position.
The NFL Network first reported on Graham’s hiring of the Raiders.
ESPN’s Jordan Raanan contributed to this report.