Raiders Coaching Staff
17th season in NFL
2nd season with Raiders
Paul Guenther enters his second season as defensive coordinator for the
Raiders, having spent 13 seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, including
his last four as defensive coordinator.
In his first season with the Silver and Black, Guenther oversaw a young
defense that showed continuous growth throughout the year. Oakland’s defense
improved eight spots from 2017 in total takeaways, finishing the campaign with
17. Highlighted among the club’s takeaways were their number of interceptions.
Guenther inherited a defense that finished last in the NFL in interceptions in
2017, and mentored his defensive group to an 18-spot improvement for a 14th
place finish with 14 total on the year.
Guenther also sculpted the defense to be at its best inside the two-minute
mark of the halves, as the club allowed just 15 points on the season inside of
two minutes and was good for 11th-fewest in the NFL in 2018. The No. 11
ranking marked a nine-spot improvement from the 2017 campaign.
In his 13 seasons with Bengals, Guenther helped the team win four AFC North
titles (2005, 2009, 2013 and 2015) and reach the postseason seven times,
including a franchise-record five straight trips to the playoffs from 2011-15.
As the Bengals’ defensive coordinator from 2014-17, Guenther guided a unit
that ranked fifth in points allowed per game (20.1) over that time span and
ranked in the top 10 in two separate seasons, finishing second and setting a
Bengals franchise record in 2015 (17.4) and eighth in 2016 (19.7). Cincinnati
also excelled in forcing turnovers, recording 69 interceptions over his last
four years with the club, a number that ranked first in the NFL. Guenther
also coached his defensive players to eight Pro Bowl selections as the team’s
defensive coordinator, including four straight selections for DT Geno Atkins. The
Bengals also limited opposing passers to just an 80.1 quarterback rating in his
four years at the helm of the defense, ranking first in the NFL over that span.
In his final season with the Bengals in 2017, Guenther led a defensive group that
finished sixth in the NFL in yards per play, holding opponents to an average of only
4.97. With 21.8 points allowed per game, Guenther tallied his fourth consecutive
season as coordinator where the defense averaged under 22 points per game.
In 2016, the defense finished eighth in the league in fewest points allowed
(19.7). Guenther’s unit finished second in the NFL with 17 interceptions and
ranked seventh in red zone defense.
The Bengals’ defense finished 2015 as one of the strongest units in the
league, ranking second in the NFL in points allowed at just 17.4 per game,
which marked a franchise record.The Bengals also ranked seventh in the NFL in
rushing defense (92.3-yard average) and third in interceptions (21).
In his first season as Cincinnati’s defensive coordinator in 2014, Guenther
led a Bengals defense that ranked 12th in the league with 21.5 points allowed
per game. The defense also ranked in the top 10 in nine of 15 major statistical
categories, including a tied for third-place finish in interceptions (20) and a
third place in lowest opponent quarterback rating (75.8).
Prior to being appointed the team’s defensive coordinator, Guenther served in
various roles on the Bengals’ coaching staff from 2005-13. He spent two seasons
from 2012-13 as the team’s linebackers coach. Under his direction in 2013, the
linebacking corps helped the defense finish third in the NFL in total defense (305.5
yards per game) and tied for fifth in scoring defense (19.1 points per game).
In his first season as linebackers coach in 2012, Guenther directed a unit that
helped the defense finish sixth in the league in total defense (319.7). The Bengals
were also eighth in the NFL in scoring defense (20.0 points allowed per game).
From 2005-11, Guenther assisted on special teams, while also working with
the linebackers from 2005-10 and the defensive backs in 2011. Guenther
helped the Bengals win AFC North titles in 2005 and 2009. From 2005-11,
Guenther helped the group develop into one the better coverage units in the
league, ranking sixth in opponent punt return average (7.8 yards) and 12th in
opponent return average against (22.0 yards) during that span.
Guenther entered the NFL coaching ranks as an offensive assistant with the
Washington Redskins from 2002-03, working as an associate to Marvin Lewis,
who served as the team’s assistant head coach/defensive coordinator in 2002.
With the Redskins, Guenther also worked with the running backs corps.
PERSONAL: Native of Richboro, Pa. …Played linebacker at Ursinus College,
setting a school record for career tackles (355), while earning all-conference
honors three times…Received his bachelor’s degree in communications from
Ursinus in 1994, and a master’s degree in sports administration from Western
Maryland in 1997...He and his wife, Patrice, have two sons, Jake (15) and
22 2019 Gameday