The Las Vegas Raiders are ready to hit the reset button once again with the resignation of head coach Jon Gruden. The coach found himself involved in a major controversy once a litany of racist, homophobic and sexist emails was revealed to the public by The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times on October 8 and 11, respectively. It’s still early in the season and the team sits at 3-2.
Once Gruden resigned, the next conversation was about who would take over as the interim head coach. In a somewhat surprising move, the Raiders named special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia to the position.
The Raiders have three former head coaches on their staff in Gus Bradley, Rod Marinelli and Tom Cable but decided to go with Bisaccia, who has never been a head coach. While Bisaccia doesn’t have that particular experience, he’s respected among the team and has been in the NFL for a long time. He even won a Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers back in 2002. He won’t be the team’s long-term head coach but is a stern voice who can keep the ship afloat for the rest of the season.
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Raiders Likely Didn’t Want to Mess With Offense or Defense
Had Bradley taken over as the head coach, he would’ve had to give up his position as defensive coordinator. Considering the good work he’s done with the group, it’s easy to see why the Raiders wouldn’t want to switch that up. At the end of the day, there’s only so much an interim head coach can do. Bradley will likely be effectively serving as the head coach of the defense.
Marinelli is 72 years old and doing great work with the defensive line. Putting him at head coach would’ve likely been a mistake. In Cable‘s case, his offensive line is a mess right now, and he needs to fix that before the Raiders give him a promotion. Offensive coordinator Greg Olsen could’ve also been an option but doesn’t have any head coaching experience. Gruden was the play-caller on offense and Olsen is taking over that role. He’ll have his hands full. Putting Bisaccia in the head coaching role allows the offense and defense to mostly be unaffected by the change of head coach.
What’s Next for Raiders?
Unfortunately for the Raiders, the NFL season doesn’t stop for them. They have a game against the Denver Broncos on Sunday, October 17, for possession of the second spot in the AFC West. It’s a very big game for the team and could define the rest of the season.
The Raiders are dealing with one of the toughest situations a team can be hit with. The team does have the talent to still make the playoffs. However, Gruden is the mastermind behind the whole operation. The former head coach has serious struggles getting the Raiders over the hump so it’s possible he was holding them back. Sunday will be a very telling game for how Las Vegas will look going forward.