Ex-Raiders Coach Lands Interview for Head Job With AFC Team

rich bisaccia jon gruden

Getty Rich Bisaccia with Jon Gruden.

The Las Vegas Raiders made a controversial decision when they decided not to give Rich Bisaccia the permanent head coaching job after taking them to the playoffs. He replaced Jon Gruden after the coach resigned and did an admirable job considering the circumstances. The veteran coach didn’t land another head coaching job last offseason and ended up taking the special teams coordinator job with the Green Bay Packers.

Now that a year has passed, he’s starting to get looked at for head coach jobs again. The Indianapolis Colts announced that they’ve interviewed Bisaccia for their head job.

Ironically, Bisaccia would replace interim head coach Jeff Saturday if he was hired. However, Saturday wasn’t nearly as successful as Bisaccia as a head coach so it wouldn’t be a controversial choice. The Colts have interviewed several notable candidates for head coach, including Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans and Bills offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey amongst others. That will be a tough field for Bisaccia to compete with but Colts owner Jim Irsay has shown he’s willing to take big swings when it comes to hiring a head coach. Perhaps he’s willing to roll the dice on Bisaccia.

Special Teams Coordinators Don’t Get Many Head Jobs

Based on what he did with the Raiders in 2021, Bisaccia at least deserves strong consideration for head coaching jobs. However, hiring him would be a substantial risk. Teams typically like to hire offensive or defensive gurus as head coaches under the idea that they can fix at least one side of the ball. Bisaccia has been coaching special teams since the 1980s.

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh is the most notable special teams coordinator to get a head coaching job. He’s won 60.7% of his games as a head coach and won a Super Bowl. However, he is very much an outlier. Joe Judge is the most recent special teams coordinator to get a head coaching job with the New York Giants and he was fired after two seasons.

Should Bisaccia Get a Head Coaching Job?

Bisaccia is his own person and should be evaluated for his skill as a coach. He proved last year he can be the man in charge. That said, it’s an entirely different thing to be the head coach for an entire year. Head coaches have to make tough personnel decisions. That’s something Bisaccia hasn’t had to do much of. Pairing him with a strong general manager like Chris Ballard could be a smart move. That would take pressure off of him to have to worry too much about personnel.

What Bisaccia does best is lead players. Multiple Raiders players wanted him to get the permanent head coaching job following last season. As a leader, it’s hard to find a better coach. The Raiders dealt with chaos last season but his composed style helped keep the team from imploding. Pairing him with a strong general manager, offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator could be a great recipe for success. It might be worth it for a team to try and see if Bisaccia can be the guy. If not, it’s hard to imagine he’ll be nearly as expensive as other top coaching candidates.


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