The mystery is over.
The winner is Chuck Bresnahan, who was formerly the defensive coordinator in Oakland and in Cincinnati. Bresnahan and new Oakland head coach Hue Jackson worked together in Cincinnati. Bresnahan was the defensive coordinator when Oakland had success early in the previous decade.
Bresnahan replaces John Marshall, who was not brought back.
Earlier Monday, we discussed Oakland’s defensive coordinator situation, which dragged out. It had long been expected that Bresnahan was the likely defensive coordinator candidate if the Raiders stayed in-house for their coordinator. When Bresnahan was hired earlier this offseason, he was not given a specific role. He was simply referred to as a “defensive coach.” He held that role until the Raiders promoted him Monday evening.
The Raiders were linked to several assistants from around the league, but in the end, they get a defensive leader who is familiar to both Oakland owner Al Davis and Jackson.
Bresnahan is a fiery coach who is known for being a strong teacher and for being very aggressive. The defensive coaching staff is highlighted by former Raiders’ defenders Greg Biekert and Hall of Famer Rod Woodson. Biekert is the linebackers coach and Woodson is the cornerbacks coach.
I think what’s important to remember here is that Bresnahan has been in Oakland for several weeks and he’s been watching film and working toward the future. So, while Monday’s appointment was late, Bresnahan has been hard at work for awhile.
Now, the next key is to see if Bresnahan's defense will feature start cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, who will be the most sought-after free agents on the market when free agency begins.