Quick Bit: Both of the coaches have the same number of wins with the Raiders, but it took McDaniels many more games to get there.
The 2021 Raiders were sitting at 3-2 when they were dealt what many believed would be a crucial blow to their ability to compete for a playoff spot.
Jon Gruden stepped down from the team’s head coaching position after an NFL workplace misconduct investigation revealed that he had sent emails containing racist, sexist, homophobic and transphobic language from 2010 to 2018.
At the time, Gruden was in his fourth year with the Raiders and it felt like Las Vegas was starting to build some positive momentum on the field. But with his ouster, the Raiders had to adjust on the fly, and many expected that the chaos surrounding the team would sink the playoff hopeful.
However, the Raiders were able to bounce back from Gruden’s firing and make an impressive run to the playoffs. They got in by virtue of their last-minute overtime win against the Chargers in Week 18 to make their first playoff appearance since 2016.
Las Vegas owed a lot of that success to interim coach Rich Bisaccia, who did an excellent job in Gruden’s stead. He won over the players and had the team playing well as they ended the regular season on a four-game winning streak.
Despite Bisaccia’s success, the Raiders opted not to hire him as their full-time coach. Mark Davis and Co. instead opted to hire long-time Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels in a flashy move meant to level up the Las Vegas offense.
It hasn’t worked out.
The Raiders have largely struggled under McDaniels’ watch and the second-year coach already appears to be on the hot seat in Las Vegas. That has left many wondering what could have been had Bisaccia remained in his post.
Just how good was Bisaccia with the Raiders? Here’s what to know about his time with the team and how it compares to the two-year reign of Josh McDaniels.
Rich Bisaccia coaching record
Bisaccia posted a 7-5 record during the regular season as the Raiders’ head coach. His success helped get his team to the playoffs, where they lost to the eventual AFC champion Bengals in the first round, 26-19.
Bisaccia’s success was unprecedented. Before him, no interim head coach had ever led an NFL team to the postseason. Naturally, that’s because most coaches who are fired are either let go later in the season or possess flawed rosters, so Bisaccia had the good fortune of becoming head coach early in the season and having a solid team.
Even so, that Bisaccia could effectively navigate a scandal of those proportions and lead his team to success was impressive. So, too, was the four-game winning streak the Raiders posted to make it into the postseason in the first place.
Bisaccia ended up being a player favorite, and that’s part of the reason that many were surprised he ultimately didn’t get the job. But Davis evidently decided that Bisaccia would not be retained once the Raiders fell to 6-7, per The 33rd Team, and he did not change his mind even after Las Vegas’ excellent finish to the season.
Josh McDaniels’ coaching record
Davis hired McDaniels in a move that he hoped could spark the Raiders offense, which was solid albeit unspectacular under Bisaccia. It ranked 11th in total yardage but just 18th in points per game.
It was believed that McDaniels could, perhaps, help Derek Carr return to the form he demonstrated in the Raiders’ 2016 campaign, during which they went 12-4.
Instead, the team has stagnated. In 21 games since taking over for Bisaccia, McDaniels has posted a record of 7-14 while starting four different players at quarterback. Derek Carr was jettisoned for nothing but cap relief, and replacing him with Jimmy Garoppolo has merely been a lateral move.
McDaniels has made some questionable coaching decisions over his year-plus in Las Vegas — of recent note, he kicked a field goal while trailing by eight late in a Week 3 game against the Steelers and only got the ball back with 12 seconds on the clock — and those have landed him on the coaching hot seat.
Davis doesn’t appear ready to admit that hiring the former Patriot may have been a mistake. He recently yelled at fans to “smarten up” when they asked him whether he was going to part with McDaniels soon.
But given the coach’s 7-14 record with the Raiders and his 11-17 mark in two seasons with the Broncos from 2009-10, it’s certainly fair to question whether McDaniels will be able to figure things out in Las Vegas.
Where is Rich Bisaccia now?
After the Raiders declined to hire Bisaccia, he was quickly able to find another job. He joined Matt LaFleur’s staff with the Packers as the special teams coordinator, the role he held in Las Vegas before his promotion.
The results have been solid. Green Bay ranked dead last in Rick Gosselin’s special teams rankings for 2021 by a rather wide margin; in one year under Bisaccia’s watch, the Packers improved to 22nd in Gosselin’s rankings for 2022.
Bisaccia will get a chance to exact revenge on his former team when the Packers face them on “Monday Night Football” in Week 5. And if Bisaccia can help Green Bay win, he and McDaniels will continue to be tied with seven wins in their respective coaching tenures.
Originally found on Sporting News Read More