Oakland Raiders: Is Chuck Bresnahan Better Than We Give Him Credit For?

D.J. O'ConnorSenior Analyst IIINovember 11, 2011

Kamerion Wimbley gets one of his four sacks against Phillip Rivers.
Kamerion Wimbley gets one of his four sacks against Phillip Rivers.Harry How/Getty Images

When the Raiders finally announced that Chuck Bresnahan was going to be the defensive coordinator for 2011, it ended a strange story.  

Bresnahan was on staff as a "defensive assistant" on a team that didn't have a defensive coordinator.  The Raiders were exploring their options with guys like Winston Moss in Green Bay and they were turned down by Rex Ryan (one more reason to hate him) to interview a New York Jets assistant coach.

After a long search, Bresnahan was finally named the defensive coordinator, returning to the position he held when the Raiders were the AFC powerhouse that won three division titles and went to a Super Bowl.

His hire came under scrutiny by some and praise by others.  He had been coaching in the UFL, which might as well be the NFL's equivalent to the MLB's Triple-A league.  

I have to wonder if he will keep his job into next year considering that the man who brought him back, Al Davis, is no longer with us.  Hue Jackson may continue his renovation of the organization along the lines of trading for Aaron Curry and Carson Palmer.  I am sure he has ties to some defensive assistant coaches in Baltimore, possibly the NFL's best defense.

Earlier this week, much of the blame for the meltdown against the Denver Broncos came down on defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan, and rightfully so.  He failed to coach his defense to shut down Tim Tebow's running ability.

A 10-point halftime lead turned into a 14-point loss as the Broncos ran for 298 yards with Tim Tebow and Willis McGahee slicing and dicing the Raiders defensive front.

Perhaps Bresnahan wasn't the man responsible for that meltdown.  He coaches the players and calls the plays and that's where it ends for him.  He didn't miss tackles, he didn't blow a gap assignment and he didn't get fooled by a high school style option run.

If the blame for the bad falls on Bresnahan, he also deserves a share of the credit for the good.  The Raiders took advantage of a banged-up Chargers offensive line and unleashed Kamerion Wimbley, who had a field day of four sacks plus several more hits on Phillip Rivers.

Bresnahan is working with a secondary with injuries to Chris Johnson, Chimdi Chekwa and Michael Huff.  Although that may help because it forces the Raiders to play 10-year veteran Lito Sheppard, whom I am a fan of, it is never good when you're playing with three injured defensive backs forcing you to sign Jerome Boyd from the practice squad the day of the game.

Keep in mind that Al Davis has long been the defensive coordinator of the Raiders with his love for bump and run man to man coverage.  Perhaps we will see the real Chuck Bresnahan from here on out and see how the Raiders defense finishes the season.

If the Raiders defense keeps up the tempo they set in San Diego, I will be in a long line of people to apologize to Chuck Bresnahan for doubting him.