Raiders Player Explains Why Team Improved After Jon Gruden's Exit

Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated

Rich Bisaccia appeared to be a welcome replacement for Jon Gruden in Las Vegas.

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The Raiders went 7–5 under interim coach Rich Bisaccia in 2021, and the team appeared to rally around him after Jon Gruden resigned following the release of racist, misogynistic and anti-LGBTQ+ emails . So will Bisaccia get another chance with Las Vegas in 2022? He seems to have the support of some key pieces in the desert.

Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby endorsed Bisaccia for Las Vegas's coaching vacancy on Tuesday, noting Bisaccia is “the best man for the job.” One anonymous Raider detailed the benefit of having Bisaccia as coach rather than Gruden, telling Bally Sports “[Bisaccia] listened to the players.”

“We didn’t have Gruden grinding us late in the year,” a Raiders veteran said. “Gruden would kill us, and we would fall apart. The reason this team played so well down the stretch is that Rich listened to the players and took it easy over the back half of the season.”

Bisaccia met with Raiders owner Mark Davis on Wednesday. Las Vegas is expected to undergo a wide search for its new head coach, and Bisaccia reportedly faces an uphill climb to get the gig outside of his interim duties

Las Vegas snapped a four-year playoff drought in 2021 as it finished 10–7 before losing to Joe Burrow and the Bengals in the AFC wild-card round.

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