The Oakland Raiders made their first defensive coach hire of the Hue Jackson era today with the rehire of former defensive backs coach turned defensive coordinator Charles “Chuck” Bresnahan. His previous stint with the Raiders was a highly successful campaign, beginning with the Jon Gruden regime as the Raiders DB’s coach in 1998-1999. As Defensive Backs Coach for the Raiders, he assisted cornerback Charles Woodson to the Pro Bowl in Woodson’s first two seasons.
During his time as defensive coordinator with the Raiders from 2000-2003, the team won three straight divisional titles and made an appearance in Super Bowl XXXVII, where they got throttled by the Jon Gruden led Tampa Bay Buccaneers. And although the team allowed 48 points to the Bucs that day, it was mainly due to the fact that Rich Gannon looked like a crackerjack box quarterback throwing five interceptions and only leading the team to 11 first downs as Jon Gruden exposed him with the Tampa Bay defensive scheming.
Under Chuck’s philosophy, the Raiders were 17th, 18th, and 11th in total yards allowed during the first three seasons, but fell to 30th in yards allowed during the 2003 season which officially ended the Jon Gruden-Bill Callahan-Chuck Bresnahan era for the Raiders.
Following his departure from the Raiders, Bresnahan joined the Cincinnati Bengals as a defensive assistant coach in 2004. The following season, he was promoted to defensive coordinator. He filled that role under Marvin Lewis for three seasons before being fired in January of 2008, following a 7-9 record.
“Chuck brings a wealth of knowledge and experience and we welcome him back,” said Oakland Raiders Head Coach Hue Jackson. “I worked with him in Cincinnati and he is fiery, a motivator and a teacher.”
During Bresnahan's time as the Bengals defensive coordinator, despite total yards allowed rankings of 28th, 30th, and 25th respectively, the Bengals ranked first in the AFC and second in the NFL in takeaways during the 2005 and 2006 seasons. The Bengals also captured their first division title in 17 years.
In 2009 and 2010, Bresnahan served as the linebackers coach and defensive coordinator for the Florida Tuskers of the United Football League. The UFL has become a place of high interest for the Oakland Raiders lately, with talk of several coaches and players being aligned with the Raiders somehow or other. It is becoming quite clear that Al Davis has been watching the league closely.
During the 2010 UFL season, the Tuskers would win their first game against the Las Vegas Locomotives, drop three straight games, but still end sunny side up in the UFL championship game. They lost that game, but they were a symbol of persistence, winning games with ultimately nine players on IR. Bresnahan’s defense boasted the UFL’s top pass-rushing duo in defensive ends Joe Clermond, who had a league-record 6½ sacks, and Patrick Chukwurah who chimed in with 5½ sacks.
Just prior to his rehire by the Raiders, Bresnahan was coaching 2011 NFL Combine Prep Athletes in Florida and Ohio prior to the all-star games and the NFL Combine. That should work in the Raiders favor this year when selecting players at the 2011 NFL draft.
Bresnahan’s new position with the Raiders is, as of yet, untitled. Right now, it is expected that he will be in charge of coaching the linebackers in place of Mike Haluchak. However, it is assumed by some folks that if the Raiders can’t get their hands on Darren Perry or Winston Moss to be their new defensive coordinator, then Bresnahan could end up being the fallback crutch for the team.
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