HENDERSON, Nev. — Las Vegas Raiders interim coach Rich Bisaccia, who led the team to its first playoff appearance since 2016 and only its second since 2002, said Monday he has had preliminary conversations with team owner Mark Davis about potentially getting the job full-time.
But that hasn’t stopped the Raiders from potentially looking elsewhere.
The team has requested permission to interview New England Patriots inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo for the head coach position, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. In addition, Las Vegas has asked to talk with Patriots director of player personnel Dave Ziegler for the general manager job that had been held by Mike Mayock, sources said.
The Raiders fired Mayock on Monday after three seasons with the team.
“There’s due process,” Bisaccia said Monday in his season-ending video news conference. “[Davis] has to interview some other candidates, as I well know. I’m very respectful of the process, what it’s supposed to look like and how it’s supposed to work. And I think we’ll be in constant conversation and we’ll certainly talk again before the week is over.”
Bisaccia, 61, was promoted from special teams coach on Oct. 11 following Jon Gruden’s resignation. It was the first time Bisaccia had been a head coach at any level in a coaching career that began in 1983.
The Raiders, who were 3-2 at the time of Bisaccia’s promotion, went 7-6 under him and won their last four regular season game to finish 10-7 and claim the AFC’s No. 5 seed. Las Vegas fell at the No. 4-seeded Cincinnati Bengals 26-19 in a wild-card-round game Saturday.
Las Vegas had a Super Bowl-era record six walk-off wins this season and had first-and-goal at the Bengals’ 9-yard line with 30 seconds to go when quarterback Derek Carr spiked the ball. Carr was intercepted on a pass thrown short of the goal line to Zay Jones on fourth-and-goal to end the game and the Raiders’ season.
“I think maybe we got a little bit of a communication issue,” Bisaccia said of the first-down spike, “and I think we would have been better off trying to get the play off.”
The Raiders were just 1-for-5 on red zone trips against the Bengals.
“I think we can all think that he’s the right guy,” Carr said after the game. “He’s proven that people listen to him. Our team listens to him. And I love him so much, I’m thankful for him.
“With everything that went on, if you really look at what happened, all the pieces missing, everything that changed, yeah, he held it together.”
Besides Gruden’s resignation, the Raiders also cut receiver Henry Ruggs III, following his involvement in a high-speed car crash that left a woman dead, and cornerback Damon Arnette, after video of him brandishing guns and making death threats went viral. The seasons also included Gruden filing a lawsuit against the NFL, a road game in Cleveland being postponed 49 hours because of a COVID-19 outbreak, the death of franchise icon John Madden and the DUI arrest of rookie cornerback Nate Hobbs.
Said Renfrow: “Rich has proven that he can do it at this level, and we love playing for him, we play hard for him, and … I think he can lead us, if given the opportunity. So, we’ll see how the cards fold. We’ll obviously love whoever they bring in, and we’ll work towards winning a Super Bowl next year.”
Davis has remained publicly silent on the matter, though names such as Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh, Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, former Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson and Stanford coach David Shaw have all been linked to the head-coaching job.
In accordance with the Rooney Rule, Davis is mandated to interview at least two minority candidates from outside of the organization for the head-coaching job. Mayo, who is Black, played for the Patriots from 2008 to ’15 and has been on their coaching staff since 2019.
Bisaccia, meanwhile, said all of the coaches still under contract already went through exit interviews with players and were working on player evaluations, and that he would work through the week as the “acting head coach” while staying in touch with Davis.
“Starting Thursday, the coaches will have time off, as well as myself,” Bisaccia said, “and we’ll just wait to see what happens from there.”