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Paul Guenther targeted by Raiders and Jon Gruden as DC; may be candidate to replace Marvin Lewis

Oakland is looking to hire Paul Guenther as their next defensive coordinator, but the Bengals may consider him as their next head coach.

Cincinnati Bengals v Cleveland Browns

The Cincinnati Bengals could be losing defensive coordinator Paul Guenther.

According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the Oakland Raiders are confident they will hire Jon Gruden to be their next coach, replacing the now-fired Jack Del Rio.

And if Gruden is hired, he’s targeting Guenther to be his defensive coordinator in Oakland.

However, ESPN’s Adam Schefter is not as confident Guenther lands in Oakland. Schefter does think Guenther is an option as their defensive coordinator, but he’s also a head-coaching candidate for the Bengals:

Guenther has been defensive coordinator of the Bengals since 2014, though his tenure has been erratic at best. His defenses have been dominant at times, but they’ve also been horrific for stretches, including this season.

The Bengals finished 2017 ranked 18th in total defense, 16th in scoring defense, and 25th in third-down defense. To be fair, Guenther’s defense was hit hard on the injury front as the season wore on, but you’d still like to see more from a guy who’s reportedly being considered to be your team’s next head coach.

The Bengals are still mulling over Lewis’ future in Cincinnati. His contract is up, and so too is Guenther’s. That means Guenther could leave Cincinnati on his own to become Oakland’s next defensive coordinator, but my guess is he waits to see how the situation in Cincinnati plays out.

Hopefully, all of this is settled this week. The Bengals need to move quickly if they’re going to find a new head coach and staff.