Though it ended in a disappointing loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, the 2021 season for the Las Vegas Raiders was a success. The team got to the playoffs for just the second time since 2002 despite having many off-the-field distractions throughout the year. Interim head coach Rich Bisaccia took over the team when they were 3-2 and won seven of 12 games, including a four-game winning streak to end the season.
Bisaccia may not be an offensive or defensive guru, but the players loved him and he’s a strong leader. Regardless, the Raiders will have to conduct a coaching search to satisfy the NFL Rooney Rule so Bisaccia will have to wait until he knows his fate. He understands the situation and won’t force the issue.
“I’m very respectful of the process and what it’s supposed to look like and how it’s supposed to work,” Bisaccia said Monday. “I think we’ll be in constant conversation, and we’ll certainly talk again before the week is over.”
Though Bisaccia doesn’t know if he’ll be the Raiders head coach going forward, he’s going to continue fulfilling his duties until he’s told not.
“As of right now, I’m the acting head coach through my conversations with Mark [Davis],” Bisaccia said. “And then, starting Thursday, the players and coaches will have that time off, as well as myself. We’ll just wait to see what happens from there.”
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Bisaccia Knows He Can Do the Job
When the Raiders promoted Bisaccia to interim head coach, the move came as a bit of a surprise. The team has two former head coaches already on staff in offensive line coach Tom Cable and defensive coordinator Gus Bradley. In the end, Bisaccia proved to be the right guy for the job and he learned a lot about himself in the process.
“I learned that I can do the job,” Bisaccia said. “I learned that I could have conversations with other coaches to figure out how to posture to win a game and still keep the same role that I had where you can build a relationship with players and still do the job that I started off with. … I’ll leave it at that.”
What Mike Mayock Firing Means for Bisaccia?
Bisaccia has the support of the locker room and current coaching staff. Most of them would love to see him get the full-time head coaching job. However, the chances of that have lowered after the Raiders fired general manager Mike Mayock on Monday. He was a big supporter of Bisaccia and would’ve likely fought to give him the head coaching job had he been retained.
With Mayock out, it appears that owner Mark Davis would prefer to start fresh from an operational standpoint. That doesn’t necessarily mean that Bisaccia has no chance of getting the job. His standing with the team will largely depend on who the Raiders hire as their next general manager. Davis will be heavily involved in the coaching search but will likely let his next general manager have some say unless the next head coach will be in charge of personnel.