HENDERSON (Nev.) -- Derek Carr, an emotional friend who had forged a unique relationship with Jon Gruden over three-plus decades, had an idea after the Las Vegas Raiders coach resigned following leaked emails that showed he used anti-gay, racist and misogynistic language over a period of seven years.
"If we all started to open up everyone's private messages and emails, people would begin to sweat a bit. ... I hope not. The Raiders' quarterback suggested Wednesday that coaches, GMs, and owners should open up. You have to be open to everything. You'll be amazed at what happens.
Carr said of his former coach: "I love him, but you hate the sin." Nobody is perfect.
Within 48 hours of Gruden's resignation, Raiders owners Mark Davis and Mike Mayock, general manager of the Raiders, addressed an emotionally strained team at a Wednesday morning meeting. They shared a simple message: Interim coaching situations often occur late in a losing season.
Mayock stated that all of our goals were ahead of us. "We are 3-2 and one game away from the AFC West lead. Denver must be the focus."
The Raiders are currently on a losing streak of two games and will be playing at the Denver Broncos Sunday.
Wednesday's interview with reporters was Mayock's. She said Bisaccia was the right selection, while hinting that the remainder of the season would be auditions for all.
Mayock spoke highly of Bisaccia, who will continue to serve as special teams coordinator.
"Is he great coach?" Mayock said, "Hell yeah." "But he is an even greater man, and what he's always told people when he endorses me is that he’s the most natural leader for men that I have ever seen."
Mayock has now the final say in personnel decisions regarding Bisaccia. Gruden had previously held that title over Mayock.
Bisaccia (61), has been an assistant coach in the NFL for 20 seasons. He was a Gruden Assistant for 11 of them. There were stops in Tampa Bay and San Diego as well as Dallas, Dallas, and Raiders. Since 1983, Bisaccia has not been a head coach at any stage of his career.
At the beginning of his media access, he read a prepared statement.
Bisaccia said, cracking his voice, "Coach Gruden gave my a chance to coach the National Football League, which I'll always appreciate." "But, everyone has a responsibility and must be accountable for our words and actions. The Raiders shield is the only thing that matters. Raiders stand for inclusion, diversity, and social justice. These ideals should be lived and carried forward into the future. While we cannot change the past, we can make tomorrow better.
Bisaccia also agreed with Mayock's message.
He said, "The thing that is unique about us is that we have a great team." "We still have 12 games, so we feel that we have plenty of time and all of our goals are still before us.
"We were 3-0 once, but we have lost two games." Although there is a bump in this road, it is not the end. We are going to try to get the players to the best possible position to win the game. Sunday will be our turn. ... My 7-year old granddaughter can place a lot of X's or O's on the board. But I tell my players that they are the ones who make the X’s and O’s come to life.
Gruden was the offensive playcaller. This responsibility will now be held by Greg Olson, the Raiders' offensive coordinator and playcaller in 2014 when Carr was a rookie.
Carr stated that Olson's voice was familiar to him, but it was jarring considering how long Gruden had been around.
The practice field provided a welcome respite from the emotional turmoil Raiders were feeling.
Mayock stated, "What I told the players this morning was that there are a range of opinions about Jon Gruden. From total condemnation to full sympathy and everything in between." "And what I told the players was that you have the right to your position. You have the right to voice your opinion. But the bottom line is that your family and religion must be respected.
"I have spoken to many of the Black players. We have reached out to many players, both black and white. Everyone has emotions and feelings. Some of my colleagues are Black. My director of pro-scouting, Dwayne Joseph, said that I couldn't imagine myself in your shoes. Please help me.
Carl Nassib (defensive end), was the first NFL player to publicly declare his homosexuality. He requested and received a personal day.
Mayock stated that they have spent a lot of time trying to help the guys and talk with them, not just talk at them but listen to them. "The other thing that I would like to say is for Carl [Nassib], because let's face it, he's an openly gay member of a group.
"We have a large African American community. We are trying to do all that we can to help that community, evidently. It all started there. That's what everyone remembers. "I'm working with everyone, and that's what I intend to continue doing."
When asked who he thought about his first day as interim coach he replied that he thought of his parents.
He said that his father "acted as if he] was the New York Giants' head football coach." He never revealed his secrets to anyone, you know. I've got five sisters, four kids, five grandkids. To be able to coach the Las Vegas Raiders. Wow! "I guess that's it. That's all I can think of to make me feel tense."