For the first time since 2016, the Las Vegas Raiders will play in the NFL playoffs. They will be the first team in over 50 years to do so with an interim head coach. This begs the question, should the interim tag be removed?
Bisaccia has made his case
After the resignation of Jon Gruden, special teams coach Rich Bisaccia was made the interim head coach. The Raiders were 3-2 at the time of Bisaccia’s promotion, and they would win the next two games under his guidance. Then came tragedy. Star wide receiver Henry Ruggs III was released after his involvement in a fatal car crash. Following this, the Raiders would lose five of their next six games. However, despite all of this, they never quit. He got the team to the playoffs by winning their final four games of the regular season and finishing at 10-7.
Through all of this, Bisaccia has grown into his own as well. Initially a conservative coach, he has gotten more aggressive with time. Never was this more true than when they attempted a field goal to defeat the Los Angeles Chargers rather than take the tie. Forever endearing himself to Raiders fans, why would the team move on?
As usual, there will be no shortage of options if the Raiders elect to find a new head coach. With a brand new stadium in Las Vegas and talent throughout the team, the Raiders will be one of the best coaching opportunities available. The biggest rumor is centered around Jim Harbaugh. Currently the head coach of the Michigan Wolverines, Harbaugh has had success in the NFL with a record of 44-19-1. He was a few yards away from winning the Super Bowl as head coach of the San Francisco 49ers. With mutual interest rumored, this appears to be the most likely scenario.
However, the rumors do not stop there. While the Raiders could hire a typical candidate such as Leslie Frazier, Matt Eberflus, or Brian Daboll, they could also make a trade. While on The Herd, Albert Breer speculated that the Raiders could take a swing at Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin. Tomlin is a Super Bowl-winning head coach who has never had a losing season. Of course, this would be a home run. The same can be said for the speculation around Sean Payton. Another Super Bowl winner, Payton, would be the Raiders’ best coach in a long time. Both of those guys would cost major draft capital but could pay huge dividends.
There’s still football to be played
As mentioned, the Raiders will play a playoff game on Saturday. That alone will make it hard to move on from the current regime. For a team that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2016, it could be a tough sell to the fanbase. Alas, time will tell what the Raiders choose to do. If the Raiders are able to conquer the Bengals on Saturday, there’s almost no way that Bisaccia and co. will be gone. With a pivotal decision upcoming for Mark Davis, he needs to nail this one.
*Top Photo: Courtesy of NFL.com