Raiders News: Brentson Buckner Grateful For Time In Oakland But Admittedly Surprised By Firing
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland Raiders wasted no time ushering in some significant changes to their coaching staff following a disappointing 2019 NFL season.

Head coach Jon Gruden opted to let go of defensive line coach Brentson Buckner following just one season in Oakland. The Raiders made the move in order to make room for former Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli.

The decision came as a bit of a surprise considering Buckner had helped this group see some significant improvement in the 2019 campaign. It seems even Buckner himself did not see it coming.

According to Vic Tafur of The Athletic, Buckner was somewhat taken back when he received the call from Gruden:

Buckner added that he does understand Gruden’s desire to bring Marinelli aboard considering the two have a past history together winning a Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Regardless, he was admittedly hurt considering his lifelong fandom of the Raiders’ organization:

Buckner’s love for Oakland has since been reciprocated by fans that have also been puzzled by the decision. Although it was brief, he can take solace in the fact that he successfully managed to live out a childhood dream.

More importantly, Bucker was able to beef up the coaching resume with his efforts after helping the Raiders register 19 more sacks than they did during the 2018 season when they finished last in the league with 13. They also went from being ranked 30th in run defense (140.6 yards per game) to eighth (98.1 YPG). The progress that was made in just one year under his tenure should go a long way when it comes to gauging the market for his next coaching gig.

While Buckner’s departure is unfortunate, it is indicative of Gruden’s mindset as the Raiders get ready to start a new era at Allegiant Stadium when they officially relocate to Las Vegas this offseason. The prospect of bringing in a high-profile name like Marinelli was just too good of an opportunity for him to pass up.