LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The pause was longer than usual, punctuating his words and delivering a message as Rich Bisaccia took over as the Raiders head coach.
“No one person is bigger …,” he started, the words hanging in the air as Bisaccia kept his eyes focused on the paper in front of him. Then he looked up as he finished: “… than the Raiders shield.”
As Bisaccia was introduced as the new head coach during a Wednesday news conference, he didn’t deflect questions about Jon Gruden’s resignation and emphasized that the Raiders are a good team with an opportunity ahead.
“The message I gave to the team today was about the team. If we have a team that cares about each other, it’s a tough team to beat,” Bisaccia said.
“I think it’s a good locker room. I think we have veteran leadership, I think we have a really good group of young guys. Derrick Carr is still going to be an extension of the coaching staff on offense.”
Bisaccia, a special teams coach before he was promoted, said he and Gruden are friends.
“Coach Gruden gave me a chance to coach in the National Football League. I’ll always be appreciative of that. That being said, we all have a responsibility here, and have to be accountable to our words and our actions,” he said.
“The Raiders have always stood for diversity, inclusion and social justice. It’s important to live those ideals, and carry them into the future. We cannot change the past, but we can do more to maybe make tomorrow better.”
The short turnaround before Sunday’s game against the Broncos isn’t on his mind as much as the season’s goals.
He said he is happy to have the opportunity, although the circumstances are difficult. “It’s easy to get emotional about that question … . No one wants to be put in front of this.”
“The longer we stay in this, regardless of the level, we’d all like to have this opportunity to be in front of the men, to lead. That’s kind of what we all do. Most of us have the same type personality. So, here it is, however it came to fruition … I’m going to do the best I can with the men we’re working with to put a really good product on the field. And to give our players a chance to be successful,” Bisaccia said.
We all have something to prove every day … you only get so many plays.
He said he hasn’t spoken to Gruden since he resigned.
“We’ve been together a long time. We’ve been friends,” he said.
“Last night wasn’t good for him, it wasn’t good for us.”