Jaguars Rumors: Rich Bisaccia, Ex-Raiders Interim HC, Eyed to Replace Urban Meyer

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 31, 2022

Las Vegas Raiders interim head coach Rich Bisaccia throws a pass before an NFL football game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Las Vegas Raiders, Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
AP Photo/AJ Mast

The Jacksonville Jaguars are reportedly interviewing former Las Vegas Raiders interim coach Rich Bisaccia on Monday.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported the two sides will meet as the Raiders close in on replacing Bisaccia with New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.

Bisaccia went 7-5 and led the Raiders to a wild-card berth after taking over following Jon Gruden's resignation amid scandal in October. The former special teams coordinator kept the locker room together despite the fallout from Gruden's offensive emails leaking and wide receiver Henry Ruggs III's arrest on vehicular manslaughter charges, earning the backing of several players in the process.

"I think we can all think that he's the right guy," Raiders quarterback Derek Carr told reporters of Bisaccia. "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 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."

The Raiders' decision to move on from Bisaccia opens the door for the Jaguars, who have been embroiled in what's become a mess of a coaching search. The team had seemingly locked in on Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich as its coach, but Leftwich and others have expressed concerns about working with general manager Trent Baalke.

Schefter reported the Jaguars are looking to interview Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O'Connell, who was not part of their initial round of candidates—a sign they may be starting the process from scratch.

Jacksonville's next hire is critical following the abject failure of Urban Meyer's lone season with the franchise. Meyer alienated his players and coaching staff with a series of poor decisions while posting a 2-11 record before his dismissal. His 13-game tenure is tied for the fourth-shortest in NFL history.

Bisaccia's ability to win over a locker room seems like a polar-opposite personality fit to Meyer, but his capability to build his own culture from the ground up is unclear. All of the staff that coached under him were Gruden holdovers, and the team kept schemes in place on both sides of the ball.

The Jaguars need a coach who will help undo the harm of the Meyer era while also playing a pivotal role in developing quarterback Trevor Lawrence.