The Las Vegas Raiders looked to be in trouble early in the season.
They lost two players due to unacceptable demeanor, and Jon Gruden resigned because of controversial messages.
Those problems could have brought instability to a team that lost two straight games after winning their first three.
However, that shaky period became a blessing in disguise when Rich Bisaccia took over as interim head coach.
The #Raiders made the playoffs despite…
*Jon Gruden emails
*Henry Ruggs fatal crash
*Damon Arnette gun video
*Lost 5 out of 6
*Darren Waller injury
*Kenyan Drake injury
*Nate Hobbs DUI arrest before Week 18
Incredible job by interim HC Rich Bisaccia and his staff.
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) January 10, 2022
It looked like the 61-year-old coach from New York wasn’t up to the challenge for a while.
Eventually, he helped turn the team’s fortunes around and send them to the AFC playoffs.
His tenure as the main mentor isn’t guaranteed yet despite this level of success.
But it would be unwise to look elsewhere after proving that he’s the right person for the job.
Long Time Coming
Bisaccia joined the Raiders in 2018 as assistant head coach and special teams coordinator when they were still in Oakland, California.
Three years later, he’s finally at the top as the team moved to Sin City.
Before his stint with the Raiders, he already had an extensive coaching resume that started in 1983 as defensive backs coach for Wayne State.
He also became part of more prominent college football programs like South Carolina, Clemson, and Ole Miss.
Rich Bisaccia is a different head coach than he was a month ago. No fear.
— Raiders Beat (@RaidersBeat) January 10, 2022
Then, he transitioned to the NFL as assistant head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2008.
After his stint in Florida, Bisaccia joined the San Diego Chargers in 2011 and the Dallas Cowboys in 2013 before working for Oakland/Las Vegas.
He won a Super Bowl with the Buccaneers, and his career has gone full circle because he’s now coaching the team they defeated back then.
Despite his long experience, he never became a top candidate for a head coaching opening.
“Think about Rich Bisaccia as coach of the year…he has coached his ass off” pic.twitter.com/a5RxSdOv2N
— Raider Nation Boston (@RaiderNationBOS) January 7, 2022
But every stop in his coaching journey prepared him for this moment.
It’s somewhat bittersweet that one man’s demise led to his promotion.
However, good things come to those who wait while doing their best at their current work.
Why Bisaccia Is Perfect For The Raiders’ Opening
Team owner Mark Davis must not conduct other interviews anymore after the season because they already have the right candidate.
Bisaccia already understands the Raiders’ culture and has good working relationships with the people around the organization.
Bringing in a new coach may disrupt that synergy and break the momentum they’ve already built.
Likewise, he handled various coaching positions during his long career.
— Jeff Kerr (@JeffKerrCBS) January 10, 2022
Aside from being an assistant head coach and special teams coordinator, he also had stints in coaching defensive backs, defensive ends, wide receivers, running backs, and quarterbacks.
That holistic knowledge and appreciation for the game helps him create solid strategies for all three units.
As a result, the Raiders won their last four games to clinch their postseason berth.
They were not blowout victories, but his football intelligence gave Las Vegas the necessary edge to finish strong.
— #SuperWildCard Weekend on NBC (@SNFonNBC) January 10, 2022
Finally, he already has the players’ respect, and they’re responding to his command.
Getting the locker room’s trust is the most challenging part of a coach’s job, and Bisaccia need not adjust in earning their cooperation.
The Raiders will visit the Cincinnati Bengals for Super Wild Card Weekend.
Regardless of that game’s outcome, Bisaccia’s interim status must end because he earned the right to be the man.