GREEN BAY – Head Coach Matt LaFleur has announced the hiring of Rich Bisaccia as the Packers' new special teams coordinator.
Here are five things to know about Bisaccia:
1. He's been coaching special teams in the NFL for a long, long time, and quite successfully.
After two decades of coaching in the college ranks, Bisaccia broke into the NFL as a special teams coordinator with Tampa Bay in 2002.
He's worked in that capacity, along with holding the title of assistant head coach at all his NFL stops, ever since. He was with the Buccaneers from 2002-10, the Chargers from 2011-12, the Cowboys from 2013-17, and the Raiders from 2018-21.
According to Rick Gosselin's annual special teams rankings, Bisaccia's best unit with the Raiders was this past season, coming in at 11th in the league. In his 16 seasons with the other three NFL teams, Bisaccia coordinated units that ranked in the top 10 eight times.
2. His national profile as a coach was raised considerably this past season.
After Jon Gruden left the Raiders' head coaching post in early October, Bisaccia took over as the team's interim head coach. Las Vegas was 3-2 and promptly won its first two games under Bisaccia to improve to 5-2.
But then five losses over their next six games, a rough stretch that included multiple off-the-field incidents involving notable players, put the postseason in jeopardy until Bisaccia rallied the team to four straight victories, all by four points or less.
That impressive finish included an overtime triumph over the Chargers in Week 18 to grab an AFC Wild Card spot. The Raiders lost at Cincinnati in the opening round.
3. His primary connection on the Packers' coaching staff is to defensive coordinator Joe Barry.
Bisaccia and Barry were on the same Tampa Bay staff for six seasons (2002-06, '09) and coached together with the Chargers in 2012.
Also, one of Bisaccia's best friends in the coaching business is Rod Marinelli, who is Barry's father-in-law. Bisaccia and Marinelli coached together with the Bucs, Cowboys and Raiders.
4. He coached special teams when he first broke into the business nearly 40 years ago.
Bisaccia's first coaching job was with Wayne State College in 1983 as a defensive backs and special teams coach. In the college ranks, he also coached at South Carolina, Clemson and Ole Miss, coaching special teams among other duties at every stop.
5. He has an important and challenging task ahead of him in Green Bay.
Bisaccia will be the Packers' third special teams coordinator in LaFleur's tenure, after Shawn Mennenga was let go after the 2020 season and his replacement, Maurice Drayton, was not retained after 2021.
He'll be in charge of turning around a unit that hasn't been able to shake its struggles.
Two years ago, the Packers were plagued by several long returns allowed in the kicking game, including a couple for touchdowns. This past season, the field-goal operation was a season-long issue, leading to an inordinate number of misses by veteran kicker Mason Crosby.
The Packers also never established a consistent, productive presence in their own return game over the past few years, and special-teams miscues contributed mightily to the early playoff exit in the divisional round last month. The 49ers blocked a field goal at the end of the first half, returned a kickoff to midfield to set up a field goal early in the third quarter, and blocked a punt for a touchdown in the fourth quarter of the season-ending 13-10 decision.