Pack to hire Bisaccia to fix special teams

Raiders to hire McDaniels as new coach

12:00 PM ET

GREEN BAY, Wis. — The Packers will finally have an experienced coach running their special teams. They are expected to hire veteran special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia, who most recently served as the Raiders‘ interim head coach.

A source on Monday said that an announcement is coming soon after some final details are worked out. NFL Network was first to report that the Packers were expected to hire Bisaccia.

He will be the third person to coordinate the Packers special teams in as many seasons, but he’s the first one with NFL experience doing so. Bisaccia was in his 20th season as an NFL special teams coordinator when the Raiders made him their interim coach following Jon Gruden’s resignation.

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He joined the Raiders in 2018 after previously coaching special teams for the Cowboys (2013-17), Chargers (2011-12) and Buccaneers (2002-10). The 61-year-old also had 19 years of college coaching experience before entering the NFL.

Bisaccia will replace Maurice Drayton, who was fired last week following the Packers’ disastrous special teams performance in the NFL divisional playoff loss to the 49ers. Drayton’s units had a field goal and a punt blocked, the latter of which was returned for a touchdown, to become the first team in 33 years to have both a punt and a field goal blocked during the same playoff game.

The playoff game was not an anomaly. The Packers special teams ranked 31st in ESPN’s FPI and dead last in Rick Gosselin’s widely respected special teams rankings. Drayton was promoted to special teams coordinator in 2021 after serving for two years as an assistant to Shawn Mennenga, whose units ranked 26th and 29th. Neither had been a special teams coordinator in the NFL before coming to Green Bay.

The Packers special teams problem isn’t unique to LaFleur’s tenure. Dating to the starting of Mike McCarthy’s run as head coach in 2006, the Packers have ranked in the top-10 in special teams only once (2007). In that span, they have finished in the top half of the special teams rankings only four times — most recently 16th in 2017. In that same timespan, Bisaccia’s special teams have six top-10 finishes plus a No. 11 ranking this past season.

LaFleur admitted after the season that a coaching change might not be the only necessary fix for the Packers’ special teams.

“Just one takeaway, just watching that game back, San Francisco had a lot of their starters on special teams,” LaFleur said. “That’s going to be something that I want to do some studies around the league and see how many teams operate that way. Again, does it have some inherent risk? Absolutely.”

Bisaccia interviewed for the Raiders’ permanent head coaching job, which ultimately went to Josh McDaniels, even after quarterback Derek Carr was among the players who threw their public support behind their interim coach. Bisaccia went 7-5 after Jon Gruden resigned, and the Raiders (10-7 overall) made the playoffs for the first time since 2016.

Source: ESPN NFL

    

Author: Ellen Garcia