The start of Rich Bisaccia’s tenure as the interim head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders went about as perfectly as possible. He led the team to two decisive wins over the Denver Broncos and Philadelphia Eagles in back-to-back weeks. The Raiders then went into the bye ahead of a game against the New York Giants. The team came out flat and lost 23-16.
One loss won’t sink Bisaccia’s chances of removing the interim tag from his title but it certainly won’t help. The Raiders have a lot to think about between now and the offseason. Owner Mark Davis was hoping to not have to think about who would be coaching his team for the next decade prior to Jon Gruden resigning.
Bisaccia is a respected coach and beloved by the players, but that might not be enough for Davis. According to ESPN’s Dan Graziano, the Raiders are likely to look elsewhere this offseason.
“The Raiders will likely look for someone to replace interim coach Rich Bisaccia, though it’s not totally impossible that he takes them on a run and convinces the organization to keep him,” Graziano wrote.
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Playoff Berth Would Certainly Help Bisaccia
There’s still a lot of time for Bisaccia to earn the permanent job with the Raiders. In fact, it’s quite simple what he needs to do: Get Las Vegas to the playoffs. The silver and black have been to the playoffs once since 2002. In Gruden’s three full years with the team, he didn’t get them to the playoffs once. If Bisaccia comes in and gets the Raiders over the hump immediately, that will bode well for his chances.
It’s not out of the question that he can make it happen. The Raiders are sitting at 5-3 and tied with the Los Angeles Chargers for the best record in the AFC West. Despite the ugly loss to the Giants, Las Vegas is still a major threat in the AFC. Now, getting to the playoffs may not guarantee that Bisaccia keeps his job but it will exponentially help his chances.
Which Candidates Could Convince Raiders to Make Change?
NFL teams have started to look at young minds to take over head coaching openings and it has paid off. To no fault of Bisaccia, he’s 61-years-old and his background is as a special teams coordinator. Not many special teams coordinators have had success as head coaches outside of John Harbaugh with the Baltimore Ravens.
There will be a new batch of young minds who could be interested in the Raiders job this offseason. Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore is turning a lot of heads this season. He’s only 33-years-old and is leading the most prolific offense in the NFL. The late Al Davis loved taking chances on young offensive coaches and it worked out well for him. His son Mark could take a page out of his book.
If Davis wants somebody with a little more experience, Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll is an appealing option. He’s done magnificent work with quarterback Josh Allen and the Bills offense is top-five in scoring this season.
Davis could want to go with a familiar face who has loads of head coaching experience in David Shaw. The current Stanford head football coach was an assistant for the Raiders from 1998 to 2001. If he’s willing to consider an NFL job, the silver and black make a ton of sense for him.