Interim head coach Rich Bisaccia ready to guide Raiders

Derek Carr walked onto the practice field Wednesday waiting to hear one voice.


"I was waiting for him to click in the headset and start talking to me. Make a joke, make me laugh, get me going, fire me up."


But theres an abrupt new era in Las Vegas, where Jon Gruden is no longer making jokes about anything, and special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia is now the interim head coach of the Raiders.


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"Hes got as much respect in the locker room in our locker room as any coach Ive ever seen in my life," Raiders general manager Mike Mayock said about Bisaccia at the teams practice facility on Wednesday.


"Is he a great coach? Hell yeah. But hes an even better man. And what Ive always told people when Ive endorsed him is that hes the most natural leader of men that Ive ever been around."


Bisaccia, now in his 20th season as an NFL coach, steps in for Gruden, who resigned Monday after reports surfaced of emails he sent before being hired in 2018 that contained racist, homophobic and misogynistic comments.


Mayock said hes endorsed Bissacia for head coaching positions in the past. And that Bissacia will be a natural fit for the Raiders because of the relationships hes built in all three phases of the team, saying that since Bissacia has been the special teams coach hes involved with more players on the team than any other coach.


"Its easy to get emotional ... this is certainly an exciting moment," said Bisaccia, whose first NFL job was under Gruden in 2002, when he was hired as special teams coordinator for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.


"No one wants to be a head coach in this particular situation, no one wants to be put in front of this under these particular circumstances. But its an incredible opportunity, not only for me, but for all the other coaches to see what we can do with this adversity, see what we can do with this challenge."


Bisaccias resume includes 19 seasons of experience as an NFL special teams coordinator, with the Raiders (2018-20), Dallas Cowboys (2013-17), San Diego Chargers (2011-12) and Buccaneers (2002-10). Bisaccia was on Grudens staff when Tampa Bay won Super Bowl 37 in his first season as an NFL coach.


Both Mayock and Bisaccia said since Mondays revelations about Gruden rocked not only the Raiders, but the entire NFL, theyve addressed the locker room, along with owner Mark Davis and the teams captains.


Davis has declined to speak to reporters, other than a statement that he accepted Grudens resignation.


Along with Mayock and Bisaccia, Carr, tight end Darren Waller and defensive end Maxx Crosby spoke to reporters after practice, all with the same thought process: its time to move on, bring on the Denver Broncos.


The Raiders and Broncos, who are tied for second in the AFC West just one game back of the Los Angeles Chargers, meet Sunday in Denver.


"We have a good team, were a 3-2 team, its not like were going through some type of bad cycle and all of a sudden theres been a change and its the end of the season and the seasons over," Bisaccia said. "Weve got 12 games; we feel like we have a lot of time. We feel like a lot of goals are still in front of us."


Bisaccia said he doesnt believe the timing will be an issue because of the coaching staff in place.


Defensive coordinator Gus Bradley and defensive line coach Rod Marinelli both have head coaching experience, as does offensive line coach Tom Cable. Offensive coordinator Greg Olsen takes over play-calling duties, which could see changes in allowing Carr to expand the playbook with a more prominent passing game, rather than Grudens run-first scheme to set up the pass.


"Ive been in this situation, I think this is my fifth head coach in eight years, so I do know the feelings of when its a good football team and when its not," Carr said.


"This team, the way we came in today was everythings still out there for us. Were a good football team, we believe that. We need to play better, but we still believe we can compete with anybody.


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"From an emotional standpoint, Ive got a job to do. Thats never changed, no matter who the coach is, no matter whos on the team with me. I have a job to do and thats to lead these men. Especially now, they need a leader more than ever."


NOTES: Mayock said DE Carl Nassib, the first openly gay active NFL player, requested a personal day. Mayock said the two have spoken several times and planned on meeting late Wednesday, but that Nassib told him "hes got a lot to process ... and of course we support that request." ... DT Johnathan Hankins (hip), DE Yannick Ngakoue (rest/knee) and Waller (rest/knee) were all non participants on Wednesday.


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