The Las Vegas Raiders have begun their transition into the Josh McDaniels era, but not without honoring Rich Bisaccia’s accomplishments.
The Raiders special teams coach, who “picked up the ball” following Jon Gruden’s disgraceful exit and earned his players’ respect, Rich Bisaccia has always been your prototypical “player’s coach.” His reputation has been that throughout his career. He was once called a “high-character, high-integrity man” by NFL Hall of Famer Derrick Brooks.
Most recently, he finds himself as the odd man out in Vegas with a new regime now in place.
We all have to take a step back and realize what Bisaccia had to go through in his first run as a head coach, albeit with the interim tag attached. The Raiders were flying high early last season until Gruden resigned after emails that painted him in a less than desirable light were leaked.
After he left, Bisaccia was thrust into the spotlight. The team didn’t really miss a beat at first, then tragedy struck. The team lost Henry Ruggs III following his involvement in a tragic car accident that resulted in the loss of an innocent life and his incarceration.
"“A family man and definitely understands from a father figure what young men are going through and will go through.” -Brooks on Bisaccia’s character"
Losing Ruggs meant more than just losing your top offensive weapon; it was like losing a family member. You could see it in the faces of several players, including Derek Carr. In a relatively young team, Bisaccia’s communication skills and ability to rally human beings showed.
The coach was able to lead the Raiders to four straight regular-season wins at the end, catapulting them into the playoffs.