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Las Vegas Raiders Practice 8/25


Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden, left, talks with defensive coordinator Paul Guenther during an NFL football training camp practice Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020, in Henderson, Nev. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP, Pool)

A change many frustrated Raiders’ fans have requested came to fruition Sunday night, about two hours after the team’s lopsided loss to the Colts.

Las Vegas “relieved Paul Guenther of his duties as defensive coordinator,” according to a short story posted to its web site and sent out on social media. Defensive line coach Rod Marinelli will act as interim defensive coordinator for the final three games, starting Thursday night against the Los Angeles Chargers.

The Raiders rank in the bottom third of the NFL by almost any defensive metric, and quite possibly had their worst game in the 44-27 loss to the Colts.

Las Vegas gave up 456 total yards — 244 passing and 212 rushing — at an average clip of 7.7 yards per play. Red-faced and irascible after the game, Gruden didn’t hide his frustration with the defense.

“You have to trust your defense,” he said. “To be a championship team and a playoff team, you have to be a good football team in all three phases.”  

Guenther had been with the Raiders ever since Gruden returned to the sidelines for the 2018 season. Marinelli joined the staff this offseason after a six-year stint as defensive coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys.

He notably served as the head coach of the Detroit Lions from 2006-2008, a stint that culminated with them becoming the first team to ever go 0-16.

Although the Raiders took a hit to their playoff chances with the loss to the Colts, they’re still alive for a wild-card berth — especially if they can sweep their last three games. That will largely come down to improving on defense, a duty that will now fall on Marinelli’s shoulders.

“It wasn’t good enough today,” Gruden said. “Defensively, we had no answer.”

Case Keefer can be reached at 702-948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at

Article written by #LasVegasSun