AP Photo/Rick Scuteri
The Las Vegas Raiders won their last four regular season games to advance to the playoffs at 10-7, and a veteran says interim coach Rich Bisaccia’s training habits compared to the ex-coach Jon Gruden made a major difference.
“We didn’t have Gruden crushing us at the end of the year,” the player told Bally Sports’ Michael Silver. “Gruden would kill us and we would fall apart. The reason this team played so well in the last game is that Rich listened to the players and calmed down in the second half of the season.”
Evidence on the field supports such a sentiment, as Silver noted the Raiders closed the previous three seasons 2-4, 1-5 and 2-5 with Gruden on the sidelines.
Bisaccia coached the final 12 games of the regular season and went 7-5 while helping lead Las Vegas to the playoffs. The AFC West team lost by seven points to the Cincinnati Bengals in the playoffs, but he earned praise for the level of stability he brought to the franchise under difficult circumstances.
He only got the job after Gruden resigned after discovering the former coach had sent emails containing racist, anti-gay and misogynistic language. Additionally, the Raiders released catcher Henry Ruggs III after being charged with four felonies and a misdemeanor in a fatal car accident.
Derek Carr and Maxx Crosby were among the players who publicly praised Bisaccia for the job he did, and Silver reported that “others are privately expressing similar sentiments”.
One player said: “Rich has a calm presence. He has a good pulse throughout the team, being a special teams guy. He’s not a rah-rah guy or a great motivator, but he’s passionate and the guys love him. Everybody’s shooting for Rich. He deserves the job.
The Raiders have already made a major change after losing in the playoffs and firing general manager Mike Mayock.
No decision has been made on the head coaching position, although The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman has reported that multiple sources associated with the Michigan Wolverines believe Jim Harbaugh would leave his alma mater for the Raiders if offered the job. head coach position.
While Bisaccia deserves a lot of credit, Harbaugh is coming off his best season at Michigan that included a Big Ten title and a college football playoff berth. He also went 44-19-1 with three playoff appearances and a Super Bowl berth from 2011 to 2014 as head coach of the San Francisco 49ers.