Along with letting go of Anthony Lynn earlier this offseason, the entire band of the past few seasons parted ways, including former defensive coordinator Gus Bradley.
It wasn’t long until Bradley was hired for the same role for AFC West rival Las Vegas Raiders.
After finishing in the top 10 in points allowed twice and the top 10 in yards allowed three of the four seasons with the Chargers, Bradley has played a vital role in improving the overall success of the Raiders defense.
Las Vegas was 30th in points allowed in 2020 and hadn’t been under No. 20 since 2006. But Bradley has led a unit that’s allowing only 24 points (15th in the NFL) and 355.7 yards (14th) per game.
Part of Bradley’s vision involved reuniting with some of his former players, five of which suited up in the blue and gold: Casey Hayward, Denzel Perryman, Darius Philon, Roderic Teamer, and Damion Square.
Hayward has been the best of all. His 82.8 overall PFF grade ranks second among corners, and he is third with an 85.0 coverage grade. In addition, he has a passer rating of 42.4 this season, third-best at the position.
Starting at middle linebacker, Perryman has looked like his old self, playing a physical brand of football and always head-hunting. He has produced double-digit tackles every game for a total of 36 so far.
Philon has been a critical rotational piece along the defensive line, contributing to seven total pressures and three run stops.
Teamer has been hampered by an injury, while Square has yet to make his regular-season debut in the silver and black.
Bradley’s defense, which most notably stymied the Ravens and quarterback Lamar Jackson, will now have the task of slowing quarterback Justin Herbert and company next Monday night.