Green Bay Packers special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia was hired in February to fix a unit that ranked 23rd in the NFL last season. The new coach has made it clear he wants more speed, creativity and explosiveness on what opponents view as routine plays. Look for this philosophy change to start with his first step: replacing kicker Mason Crosby with rookie punter JK Scott.
The “rich bisaccia special teams rankings” is a blog post that discusses the Green Bay Packers’ plan to fix their broken special teams starts with new head coach Rich Bisaccia.
In 2021, the Green Bay Packers had a Super Bowl-caliber team. The Packers clinched the No. 1 overall seed in the NFC and seemed to be on their way to a lengthy playoff run, with Aaron Rodgers playing at MVP level, Davante Adams establishing why he’s the finest receiver in the NFL, and a defense that was coming into its own.
Then, in the Divisional Round at Lambeau Field, the San Francisco 49ers knocked them out. There was enough of blame to go around for that defeat, but special teams were unquestionably a major factor.
The Packers are working hard to change that right now.
The Green Bay Packers sought to improve their special teams, which had lost them a Super Bowl appearance.
During the game against the Green Bay Packers, Talanoa Hufanga #29 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates after returning a blocked punt for a score. Will Rich Bisaccia be able to turn the Packers’ special teams around? | Getty Images/San Francisco 49ers/Michael Zagaris)
In the defeat to San Francisco, it was never more clear. The Packers’ offense had stagnated and was struggling to move the ball against a tenacious 49ers’ defense, but Green Bay responded with a defensive response of its own, holding Jimmy Garoppolo and the Niners to just three scores in the end.
Green Bay’s defense stepped up and, for the most part, bailed out Rodgers and the offense. One would assume that in a playoff game when your defense allows just three points and Aaron Rodgers is on the other side, you have an almost insurmountable chance of winning.
If it hadn’t been for the Packers’ special teams’ failings, that may have been the case.
Green Bay had a chance to go into halftime with a 10-0 lead and all of the momentum. Mason Crosby lined up a 39-yard chip shot field goal, but it was blocked, enabling the 49ers to sprint off the field with confidence and energy.
Deebo Samuel returned the second-half kickoff 45 yards for San Francisco’s first touchdown of the game.
Then there was the blocked punt, of course. With 4:41 remaining, the Packers tried a long punt deep in their own zone, but it was deflected and recovered up by Talanoa Hufanga of San Francisco, who strolled in for a score.
The 49ers won the game on a Robbie Gould 45-yard game-winner as time expired, using their special teams.
According to ESPN, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan remarked after the game, “We believed our special teams had an edge in this game.” “We felt they may be able to help us win the game.” And to be able to say that and have it really happen was significant for those players and our team.”
The Las Vegas Raiders’ interim head coach/special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia looks on before a game against the Los Angeles Chargers. The Packers made a big move by signing Rich Bisaccia | Chris Unger/Getty Images
Shanahan was correct in his prediction that Green Bay’s special teams would falter in the playoffs, and it was a fair bet over the last several seasons.
It’s a unit in which the Packers haven’t put much emphasis over the years, and it’s come back to hurt them. From perhaps undervaluing special teams genius Darren Rizzi to elevating Maurice Drayton, who was an assistant to the person who came before him, Shawn Mennenga, who had one of the worst special teams units in the league.
The Packers have made a series of poor decisions at the top, and the lack of attention to detail and care has spilled out onto the field.
They’re hoping that won’t be the case with Bisaccia, and history indicates that it won’t.
Last season, Bisaccia took over the Las Vegas Raiders after Jon Gruden was fired due to an email incident. The Raiders seemed to be rudderless and had faced a lot of difficulty as a locker room, but Bisaccia took over, rallied the club, and guided them to the playoffs.
Bisaccia was such a success as a coach that players like Maxx Crosby and Derek Carr actively pushed for him to obtain the head coaching position, even after he lost to Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals.
I believe we can all agree that he is the proper person.” According to ESPN, Carr said “He’s shown that people pay attention to him. He is well-received by our crew. And I’m grateful for him because I adore him.”
The Raiders chose to go in a different path and signed Josh McDaniels away from the New England Patriots, which ultimately benefited Green Bay.
The Packers, seemingly learning from their mistakes, swooped in and gave Bisaccia a nice contract to come to Green Bay and do what he was known for before the interim gig with Vegas, which is coach special teams.
According to USA Today, LaFleur remarked at the NFL Scouting Combine, “We’re simply incredibly blessed to have a man of that quality.” “I believe he is recognized as one of the greatest in the industry if you ask the coaches throughout the league.” It’s a great gain for us every time we can acquire a person like him.
While meeting with the media at the 2022 Annual NFL Meetings, LaFleur was also questioned about Bisaccia.
“Be patient. Baby, fasten your seatbelts. “Hold on tight,” LaFleur urged the media regarding the experienced coach’s impending media appearances (h/t the club website). “Now he’s a fiery person.”
The head coach is looking forward to seeing how Bisaccia interacts with the players, but believes he’ll have an influence not just on special teams but also on the whole unit.
“He has big expectations.” He’ll be a thorn in your side. But he is concerned not just about his athletes, but also about people, according to LaFleur. “I simply believe he’ll be a great addition for us based on my encounters with him.”
Bisaccia will be worth every penny the Packers pay him if all he does is improve Green Bay’s dreadful special teams.
ESPN and Pro Football Reference provided the statistics. Spotrac provides contract information.
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