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Former Raiders players favor Bisaccia for head coach

Updated January 26, 2022 - 11:59 am

It seems current Raiders players aren’t the only ones who believe interim coach Rich Bisaccia should get a crack at the full-time gig.

Raiders owner Mark Davis is doing his due diligence in searching for his team’s next head coach. Or maybe he’s waiting to first identify a general manager, who could ultimately decide which name runs the on-field operations.

But there are those beyond Derek Carr and Maxx Crosby and the like who believe that after such a drama-filled season, Bisaccia more than proved his worth.

Bisaccia has reportedly already interviewed for the position.

The Raiders were 3-2 when Jon Gruden resigned as coach. Under Bisaccia, they finished 10-7 and made the playoffs as a wild card.

“I like what we have (in Bisaccia),” said former Raiders linebacker Phil Villapiano. “Our team is a couple draft picks or maybe a trade away from being a pretty good team. In this situation, all the bad things that happened this year, we did pretty damn good. I think we’re close. I like Rich. I like his style. He fits our mold. I’d like to see him get the shot.”

Lincoln Kennedy, the former Raiders offensive lineman, agrees.

His point: The toughest thing for any head coach to do is win over a locker room, which Bisaccia did ten-fold. Kennedy also looks at the job as an enticing one, believing the combination of salary cap space and a playoff roster has the Raiders closer to a deep postseason run than not.

In terms of which to hire first — a general manager or coach — Kennedy, now a radio analyst for the Raiders, doesn’t think there should be an assigned order.

If you interview someone and they knock your socks off and you can’t see not hiring them, then do it, he maintains. No matter the position.

“It’s a favorable job for a coach or general manager,” Kennedy said. “I definitely would like to see Coach Bisaccia get an opportunity. What he did for the team when he took over speaks for itself.

“Being a head coach is not necessarily a fun job. It’s not an easy job. But if he wants it, Coach Bisaccia deserves that shot.”

Review-Journal sports columnist Ed Graney can be reached at egraney@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4618. Follow @edgraney on Twitter.

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