Rich Bisaccia: A true players' coach

The hiring of new special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia is right on par with the type of coaching staff LaFleur wants to lead.

Matt LaFleur isn't messing around.

And it's about dang time, if we're all being honest.

The one area of the team that's consistently given LaFleur fits over his first three years as head coach of the Green Bay Packers is special teams. So, after another abysmal season, followed by another abysmal disappointment in the playoffs, LaFleur and the front office threw all their chips in to land someone that's well-respected at the special teams coordinator position.

The Green Bay Packers made the hiring of former Las Vegas Raiders interim head coach Rich Bisaccia official on Tuesday, likely making him the highest paid special teams coordinator in the NFL.

Now, is Bisaccia an instant-fix to the third phase of the game? While we all hope so, that's probably not going to be the case right away. The consistent failure at special teams over the years has been much larger than whoever the coach is leading the unit at the time. However, the hiring is on point with the type of staff that LaFleur wants to lead in Green Bay.

LaFleur's teams have been largely player-led over his first three seasons. And Bisaccia? He's a true players' coach.

Bisaccia became a household name for NFL fans over this past season after taking over for Jon Gruden midway through the season. He somehow managed to bring a Raiders team filled with controversy and headlines to a playoff berth and gave the now-Super Bowl bound Cincinatti Bengals a run for their money in the first round.

He's incredibly well-respected and well-liked around the league - especially by the guys he coached. Don't just take it from me, take it from them.

"There are certain people that are special that you get to meet. So, yeah, Rich, no matter what, if he's here or gone or whatever, that doesn't matter. I'm going to always love him." - Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby.

"He's, like, one of those dudes that doesn't care about anything, and you come first as a human being. I think that's what speaks to why people see him so highly and hold him in such high regard. Because he's a true-a** human being who keeps it real with you." - Raiders linebacker Will Compton.

"He's proven that people listen to him. Our team listens to him. And I love him so much, I'm thankful for him. All those things will be decisions that I don't make, I don't get to make. I just want to play quarterback... but with everything that went on, if you really look at what happened, all the pieces missing, everything that changed, yeah, he held it together." - Raiders quarterback Derek Carr.

"Rich is a great leader. One of the best people I know. One of the most honest dudes I know. I'll go to bat for him any day of the week." - Crosby again.

Now you might be leaning back and thinking, "Okay, but does this really matter? I just want to know if he's going to improve the special teams unit." Like all things, only time will tell.

But for now, LaFleur and the front office are finally attempting to address the problem by hiring someone who fans, coaches and, most importantly, players respect.

And for that, I'm hopeful.

__________________________

Gunnar Davis is a lifelong Packers fan and a recent graduate of Simpson College, where he was a 3-year letterwinner on the offensive line and graduated with a degree in multimedia communications. You can follow him on Twitter at @Gunnar57Davis.

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9 points

Comments (21)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
nstewart1's picture

February 09, 2022 at 01:58 pm

Not that I really know, but I would think improved Special Teams play will rest a lot more on motivation and perhaps more practice time than totally new personnel - other than specialists. And I think we have good reason to believe the new ST coach should bring out the best in our players.

7 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

February 09, 2022 at 06:44 pm

Free agents to be jettisoned: Burks, Black and Summers. Sp Teams will Improve.

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BruceC1960's picture

February 09, 2022 at 02:08 pm

If Max Crosby is so high on coach, maybe he should just come with him?

6 points
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TXCHEESE's picture

February 09, 2022 at 04:17 pm

Amen!

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RedRight49's picture

February 09, 2022 at 02:13 pm

Rich Bisaccia has a well established track record as a Special Teams coach.

He knows what he has to do and he knows what his players have to do to field a quality Special Teams unit.

RB does not require " on - the - job - training " rather he will be ready on Opening Day with 11 competent guys and they will be well versed in competent schemes.

I believe he has the background and the resume to be able to convince those who must be convinced about the type of " core " Special Teams players he needs to achieve reasonable success throughout the season.

It will be great next Fall to read about Special Teams contributing " better starting field position " for the Packer's offense, deeper starting field position for the Pack's opponents, getting some turnovers and, putting some points on the board.

I don't expect miracles, just competent well coached players and schemes will do fine and I believe then the Special Teams unit will become an asset to the team.

GPG

8 points
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tm_inter's picture

February 09, 2022 at 08:08 pm

Rich Bisaccia has been special teams coach since 1989, 32 years ago. I'm sure that he will solve our special teams problems immediately.

1 points
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ricky's picture

February 09, 2022 at 03:36 pm

Time for optimism. Why not? But as I stated earlier, if he can just put a ST's group together and coach them up enough that they're average, that would be a vast improvement. It would also be helpful if he could get the "powers that be" some pointers as to what kinds of guys should be added to the team, so they can add depth to the roster, but their main contribution would be on ST's. Guys like Chris Banjo come to mind.

9 points
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davidhoff@mchsi.com's picture

February 09, 2022 at 05:18 pm

I tend to agree with your assessment, but "coach them up" isn't the only ingredient.
The Head Coach must seek an agreement with Sp. Teams as to what first string players are accessible for use on teams. If teams have a hole, who plugs it? No matter the excellence of the coach, the best player needs to be available while not to the detriment of the club.

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ricky's picture

February 09, 2022 at 06:52 pm

Agree, but the NFL just studied injury patterns, and found that most serious injuries, in particular knee injuries, occur on kickoffs and punt returns. This would lead me to believe the very cautious Packers would be very leery of having starters on those ST's units. But blocking for FG's? Why not?

2 points
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HawkPacker's picture

February 09, 2022 at 04:03 pm

'Now, is Bisaccia an instant-fix to the third phase of the game? While we all hope so, that's probably not going to be the case right away. '

agreed and two sayings come to mind.

1. there is no where to go but up. and

2. Baby steps, baby steps.....

1 points
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TXCHEESE's picture

February 09, 2022 at 04:24 pm

The two previous never had ST coordinator experience, this man has oodles of it. As many have stated before, we don't need a top 5 ranked ST, we just need one that doesn't keeping effing up game after game after game.....

By all accounts, Bisaccia is an incredible dude. This man sat down after his teams playoff loss, and wrote every one of his players a personal note. That's the kind of guy players will run through a gauntlet for. Raiders silly decision is the Packers huge gain.

8 points
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Roadrunner23's picture

February 09, 2022 at 05:04 pm

Should have paid for Rizzo 3 years ago, probably would have had at least one Super Bowl.

It’s like trying to fix a leak after your basement got flooded.

The Super Bowl window has most likely passed and now they hire a decent coach.

Can’t fix STUPID

4 points
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packer132's picture

February 09, 2022 at 06:02 pm

Rizzo and his family are from the South, and his wife refused to move to Green Bay. That is why he gave the Packers a crazy high salary demand. Nothing to do with being stupid. Could a, would a, should a.

4 points
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Roadrunner23's picture

February 09, 2022 at 10:23 pm

Ok fair enough but…..Mo Drayton, really? Nice guy but that’s the best they could do? Really?

0 points
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calabasa's picture

February 10, 2022 at 08:44 am

And coulda and woulda!

1 points
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canadapacker's picture

February 09, 2022 at 05:11 pm

There are several things that need to be accomplished here on Special Teams. You want to have the guys who can do the job. As far as the return game goes - both punting and kick offs - you want the guys who can catch and return the ball and dont fumble. That is probably up to Gutey to draft correctly. Then the rest of that part of the game goes down to training and situational knowledge. Over the last 2 seasons we have seen guys bring the ball out and fumble it. We have had punts go over the head for long net yardage against. The next thing is the kicking and punting game - we have had to many punts blocked or bad punts due to the Line not blocking properly and the punter not getting it off fast enough and bad snaps. The same on field goals. If the line is not properly staffed and trained bad things will happen. So it is not only about the ST coach it is about ensuring that the right people are made available for this part of the game either through the draft or out of the regular players. The tackling and rushing down on the punt and kickoff coverage - that is both scheme driven and a whole lot of motivation driven - to fight through blocks and make blocks without taking penalties and proper tackling. That is what the ST coach does is motivate and scheme here. Good luck in changing a decade of bad performance - just working on the smarts would work for me next season.

2 points
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mbpacker's picture

February 09, 2022 at 05:36 pm

I have no idea how much time the Packers have normally focused on the ST's, but you get what you emphasize.
Will LaFluer schedule more time during practice? That will be key in addition to an experienced coach.

3 points
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Lphill's picture

February 09, 2022 at 07:52 pm

Too little too late .

-1 points
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Starrbrite's picture

February 09, 2022 at 09:38 pm

Our timing is a little off….wouldn’t you say?

2 points
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aberk's picture

February 10, 2022 at 10:08 pm

Great so SP teams will be in the top 10 while the Offense will be in the bottom 10.

1 points
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Buckywunder's picture

February 13, 2022 at 06:43 pm

When does CHTV talk about the elephant in the room?

All of this shuffling, the promotions and hiring, GB doesn’t have anyone who is Black in Gutey’s inner circle. And nobody Black got promoted.

Lots of advancement for white people though.

This is not a comment on this particular ST hire. But as a stockholder I feel like it’s my duty to say that Green Bay may be owned by a “community,” but does the Packer organization reflect the community’s values when it comes to hiring practices?

There is currently a lawsuit about hiring practices for coaches in the NFL. Can we as fans and community-owners feel good about what’s taking place at 1265?

I can’t say that I do…

P.S. When will there be a column about the lawsuit itself? Maybe CHTV needs a little diversity check itself. To be fair, you have had some great women contributors I’ve really enjoyed reading. Let’s have more of that and maybe other voices too…

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