Jaguars HC search takes unexpected turn, Rich Bisaccia gets an interview

Carlos Sanchez
Las Vegas Raiders interim coach Rich Bisaccia ​at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Las Vegas Raiders interim coach Rich Bisaccia ​at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

The Jacksonville Jaguars’ search for a new head coach continues after firing Urban Meyer more than a month ago. While they should already have zeroed in on someone and should be close to hiring someone, that’s not the case and are interviewing former Las Vegas Raiders head coach Rich Bisaccia for the job.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reported the Jags are meeting with Bisaccia today, January 31st. He would be the ninth candidate for their head coaching opening, and one nobody foresaw at the beginning of the process. Just one week ago, Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich was the favorite to land the job and was even reported he would fill the opening but it seems like he’s not interested in working with general manager Trent Baalke.

In fact, most of the candidates for the Jaguars’ vacancy might not be interested in working with Baalke due to his reputation around the league as someone with an affinity for power struggles. That’s probably why Jacksonville’s search hasn’t come to an end yet and why they want to interview Los Angeles Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell but won’t be able to meet with him until the day after the Super Bowl because they hadn’t put in a formal request. Running out of options, the Jaguars are now looking into what Bissachia could bring to the table.

What would Rich Bisaccia bring to the Jaguars?

Let’s get this out of the way. Bisaccia is a good head coach who earned his chops on special teams. The fact that he was able to get the Raiders to the playoffs in spite of all the drama surrounding the team in 2021 is worth praising. Jon Gruden resigned in the middle of the season once e-mails with racist remarks surfaced.

That wasn’t it though, wide receiver Henry Ruggs III was responsible for a crash that took the life of a woman and her dog. While he will never see the football field again, his teammates were left to deal with the aftermath of his decision. Bisaccia found a way to keep his team around and his players rallied behind him. Another reason to like him is that once the Raiders’ 2021 season was over, he spent one night penning handwritten letters to his players thanking them for their contributions. That was a great gesture and one you won’t see often nowadays.

See, the Jaguars wanting Bisaccia isn’t the issue. He may not be the perfect candidate but his players love him and will play hard for him. The real cause for concern is that the head coaching search has taken this long and Baalke might be holding up the process because he won’t be willing to lose his grip of power.

Would the Jaguars really hire Rich Bisaccia? At this point, it wouldn’t be shocking. You could make the case they should have gone with Byron Leftwich but it now looks like a remote possibility. The process surrounding their head coaching search has taken more twists and turns than it should. Nothing should be off the table.

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