Sources: Packers in talks with Rich Bisaccia to be their special teams coordinator
GREEN BAY – It appears the Green Bay Packers are serious about hiring a veteran special teams coach and paying a lot for him.
According to two sources, coach Matt LaFleur is in talks with former Las Vegas Raiders interim head coach Rich Bisaccia to replace Maurice Drayton as his special teams coordinator. Bisaccia served as Raiders special teams coach from 2018 until being named interim coach to replace fired coach Jon Gruden.
Bisaccia has 20 years’ experience coaching special teams in the NFL and has been an assistant head coach with five teams.
LaFleur and the entire Packers coaching staff are in Las Vegas this week to coach the NFC team in the Pro Bowl and it's likely he was able to meet face-to-face with Bisaccia for an interview.
LaFleur announced Drayton's firing Saturday afternoon. PackersNews was the first to report Tuesday that he would not return. Also announced was the promotion of senior analyst John Dunn to tight ends coach. He replaces Justin Outten, who left to become offensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos.
“We are grateful for all that Mo brought to our team the last several seasons,” LaFleur said in an announcement. “He is a great man who is loved by our players and coaches and contributed a lot to our success."
Despite being enormously popular among Raiders players and guiding the team to a 7-5 record and playoff berth after Gruden was fired, Bisaccia won't return to Las Vegas. He was a candidate for the Raiders’ head coaching position but lost out to New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniel and has been given permission to seek a job elsewhere.
There aren’t a lot of high-caliber special teams coaches available this late in the hiring calendar, but Bisaccia and former New York Giants coach Joe Judge are considered two sure-fire candidates still available.
Bisaccia has strong ties to Chicago Bears coach Matt Eberflus, having worked with him for five seasons in Dallas (2013-17), so the Packers have competition for his services.
But if the Packers are willing to reset the market for special teams coaches and offer Bisaccia around $2 million per year, it could tip the scales their way. It would be a complete reversal of the way the franchise has approached special teams, preferring not to invest a lot of money in coaching contracts.
If the Packers were to pay him $2 million per year, he would be the highest-paid special teams coordinator in the NFL, according to a NFL source. The Packers were paying far less than that to Drayton and his predecessor, Shawn Mennenga.
Working in the Packers’ favor in their recruiting is that Bisaccia has ties to the coaching staff.
Defensive coordinator Joe Barry is the son-in-law of Bisaccia’s best friend, Rod Marinelli, who is the defensive line coach in Las Vegas. a source noted, and Barry and Bisaccia coached together for five seasons with Tampa Bay. Bisaccia has not coached with LaFleur, but the Barry connection might turn out to be a big plus.
Bisaccia would replace Drayton, whom the Packers made official Saturday will not return as special teams coordinator after one season. Bisaccia also has been special teams coordinator in Tampa Bay (2002-10) and San Diego (2011-12).
In 20 seasons, Bisaccia has had eight top 10 finishes in the Rick Gosselin special teams rankings, his best was a second-place finish at Tampa Bay in 2009. He had four of those top 10 rankings during his nine seasons with the Buccaneers.
In his four seasons with the Raiders, his special teams have ranked 11th (2021), 16th ('20), 25th ('19) and 19th ('18).
During his five years in Dallas, his units ranked fifth, 11th, fourth, 13th and fourth. With the Chargers, his teams ranked sixth and 25th.
Dunn joined LaFleur's staff last year. Prior to coming to Green Bay he coached tight ends for the New York Jets for two years and was a football assistant and then offensive assistant with the Chicago Bears ('17-'18),
Dunn, who played quarterback and tight end at North Carolina, also was the offensive coordinator at Connecticut in '18 and from '11-'15, coached tight ends and was the recruiting coordinator at Maryland.