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Packers’ Rich Bisaccia interviewed for Colts’ head coaching vacancy

Bisaccia joined Green Bay in 2022 and oversaw a significant jump in performance on special teams from last season.

NFL: JUL 30 Green Bay Packers Training Camp Photo by Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported on Friday that Green Bay Packers special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia was not only a candidate for the Indianapolis Colts’ head coach opening but that had already interviewed for the job. The Colts are running a national search that has already seen them request interviews with 13 candidates, including their interim head coach Jeff Saturday.

Beyond being a special teams coordinator, Bisaccia has a long history of holding the assistant head coach title. It’s one he’s earned at the college level at Ole Miss (2000-2001) and in stops in the NFL with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2008-2010), San Diego Chargers (2012), Dallas Cowboys (2013-2017) and Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders (2018-2021).

When Jon Gruden “resigned” in October of 2021, Bisaccia took over as the interim head coach of the Raiders, where he led the team to a 7-5 record and a playoff game. Considering the fact that Las Vegas went 6-11 in 2022, despite trading for receiver Davante Adams, that should be viewed as a win on his resume.

Players Bisaccia has coached seem to love his “tough love” mentality, as he’s a straight shooter. Following the Raiders’ 26-19 loss to the eventual AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals, the then interim head coach hand-wrote letters to each individual player on Las Vegas’ team, showing the “love” side of his tough love approach. For his effort in 2021, Bisaccia was considered a legitimate candidate to take over the Raiders in 2022 as the full-time head coach but the job eventually went to Josh McDaniels, who at the time was the New England Patriots’ offensive coordinator.

Back in 2021, the Packers ranked dead last in special teams DVOA, leading to the firing of special teams coordinator Maurice Drayton — now the head coach of The Citadel. Under Bisaccia’s guidance, Green Bay vaulted up to the 17th-ranked team in special teams DVOA in 2022. This was in spite of the fact that the team handed him kicker Mason Crosby, with a diminished leg, With Crosby as their leading kickoff specialist, the Packers only saw 22.5 percent of their attempts land as touchbacks in 2022 — by far the worst mark in the league.

Elsewhere on special teams, though, you saw massive improvements. Green Bay’s kickoff coverage and punt coverage teams were as good as they’ve ever been for the Packers. Cornerback Keisean Nixon, who Bisaccia brought in from the Raiders, went from a relative unknown to a First-Team All-Pro kick returner over the course of a half-season.

In the end of the year presser, Green Bay general manager Brian Gutekunst stated that due to the success of the special teams unit, the team is planning on using roster spots on full-time special teamers — a new approach for the Packers in 2022 — moving forward. It’s uncertain how serious of a candidate Bisaccia is for the Colts’ job, but he’s clearly well-respected within Green Bay’s facility.