January 15, 2022 - 8:38 pm
Updated January 17, 2022 - 12:31 pm
CINCINNATI — The end of the Raiders’ season sets in motion an offseason that either will be franchise-altering or one that stays the course.
The direction the Raiders take rests with owner Mark Davis, and the decisions are complex and multilayered.
Did interim coach Rich Bisaccia do enough to convince Davis that he should get the job? Or does the success the Raiders achieved while reaching the playoffs for only the second time in 19 years push Davis to seek a new coach in an attempt to lift the franchise to the next level?
Even if Davis decides on Bisaccia as the permanent replacement for Jon Gruden, who resigned in October after disparaging emails he wrote became public, the process will take time. The Raiders must follow the NFL’s Rooney Rule policy that requires teams with a head coaching vacancy to interview at least one diverse candidate.
That process will begin to unfold soon, but Raiders quarterback Derek Carr already has a preferred outcome in mind — give the job to Bisaccia.
“I know what we want to have happen,” Carr said Saturday after the 26-19 AFC wild-card loss to the Bengals. “And hopefully we proved that we can make that happen.
“I’ve never seen someone with the ear of the locker room, not just one player, not just one side, but everybody. People listen to him.”
Carr made it clear the ultimate choice rests far above his pay scale.
“All of those things will be decisions that I don’t make,” he said. “I just play quarterback.”
That said, Carr said the choice should be an easy one considering everything the Raiders went through this season.
There was the loss of Gruden and wide receiver Henry Ruggs. Season-ending injuries to two key offensive linemen in the opener and to running back Kenyan Drake later in the season. Star tight end Darren Waller missed five games because of injury, and running back Josh Jacobs missed two.
And yet, the Raiders won four consecutive games to end the season and make the playoffs with a 10-7 record.
“The fact that that staff kept everything together and kept us competitive, finding ways to win football games, I think that’s what our organization is about,” Carr said. “So we’ll see what happens. We know what we want to have happen. But again, we’re Raiders, we’re going to play football. We just hope it’s for somebody special.”