New Faifield’s Rich Bisaccia Hired by Green Bay Packers, He Deserves Better
The NFL’s hiring practices are in the national spotlight thanks to a lawsuit filed against the NFL, by former Dolphins coach Brian Flores.
Flores, is claiming that racism is to blame for the lack of African-American head coaches in the league, among other things. With the country watching the head coaching vacancies get filled, the process has been as ponderous as ever.
I can’t say if race is to blame for a lack of minority representation in the NFL but a case can certainly be made that merit, experience and results are not always equating to opportunities.
Before the lawsuit was filed, when there were eight head coaching positions available, the two hottest names in the NFL world were Brian Flores and Jim Harbaugh. Now that all the positions are filled, neither has been hired as a head coach or even a positions coach.
Setting race aside for a moment, you cannot look around the league and figure out what teams are looking for, with many of the hires making little sense. This brings me to New Fairfield’ Rich Bisaccia. Bisaccia took over as the interim head coach for the Las Vegas Raiders when the embattled Jon Gruden was forced to resign.
On paper, Bisaccia was a candidate to become the full-time head coach of the Raiders, but any NFL fan like myself knew it was a longshot. Don’t get me wrong, he 100% deserved the job but I’ve seen these things playout so many times, I knew it was not happening. In the face of horrific and distracting off-field issues, Bisaccia and the Raiders won their last four regular season games to capture a playoff spot against good competition.
During the late season stretch, Las Vegas beat the Browns, Broncos, Colts and Chargers to end the season. Each one of those teams was competing for a playoff spot at the time the Raiders beat them. Then, in the playoffs the Raiders and Biaccia took the Cincinnati Bengals to the wire.
Raiders fans like myself, were rooting hard for Bisaccia to get the job, knowing that it probably would not happen. Instead, the Raiders hired Bill Bellichick disciple Josh McDaniels.
Once Bisaccia was out of the running for the Raiders job, the rumors began. The Bears showed interest, then the Jaguars were tied to Bisaccia but when all was said and done, Rich Bisaccia was hired as the Green Bay Packers Special team’s coach. The hire was made public on Tuesday (2/8/22) according to the Packers website.
Special Teams coach was the position Bisaccia held with the Raiders before taking over Gruden. This begs the question, what must a coach do, to graduate from a coordinator to a Head coach? He ended up making a lateral move, after proving he could be successful as a head coach.
There are no real themes emerging as it pertains to the hiring of head coaches in the league, except to say that there are many hires, that seem to come out of nowhere. The only trend in the NFL, is that many of these hires make no sense. This is not to say that the men who were hired, have no resume or merit but in many cases, their competition has more experience and success.
I am happy for New Fairfield’s Rich Bisaccia. I’m happy he got a job with a storied organization and I know he will thrive there. However, he deserves better, he is entitled to more based on what he did, and the way he did it.
He wasn’t a flash in the pan guy, his run with the Raiders was just the tip of an impressive iceberg. He’s a football lifer that brought the Raiders as far as this team could have gone this season based on their talent. He’s a football lifer with a wealth of knowledge and a ton of class.
As a fan my choices for Head Coach of the Raiders would have been these, in this order
- Rich Bisaccia
- Jim Haurbagh
- Brian Flores
- Josh McDaniels
P.S. I don’t know what will come of the Flores v. NFL lawsuit but the Rooney Rule is not working to create a fair and equitable employment landscape in the NFL. The rule was well intentioned but a failure.
The league is not proactive but reactive on social and racial issues. They underreact when they should be more heavy-handed and they overreact when they don’t have the pulse of the fan base. They have proven time and again they are out of touch with their fans and their players and there are tons of examples.
There is only one underlying agenda with Roger Goodell and the NFL, revenue. They will do whatever it takes to generate more money and go to great lengths, to protect that money. The NFL Executives are great at making money, and awful at dealing with the people that make it for them, and the people that give it, to them.