Jan 4, 2014, 6:10 AM EDT
Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, January 4, 66 days before the start of NFL free agency.
“We’re going to look for someone who is a leader first and it could be on the offensive side of the ball, defense or special team,” Bruce Allen said after Mike Shanahan was fired on Monday. “There have been a couple special teams coaches who have made great head coaches.”
So into the debate over an offensive coach vs. a defensive guy jumps a third option. Allen interviewed current Cowboys and ex-Bucs and Chargers special teams coach Rich Bisaccia (pronounced Be-sach-ia) on Friday. This wasn’t a cursory interview for an old associate (the two worked together when Allen was the GM in Tampa Bay) or an attempt to pick the brain of a coach for a division rival. Bisaccia seems to be a legitimate candidate for the job.
Here are five quotes about Bisaccia:
1. “Oh, my goodness. You have to talk to the man,” said Bucs Hall of Fame defensive tackle Warren Sapp. “You can see the passion and fire in him. He has the ability to touch the star player or the kid who has no shot. The man is special. I love Rich.”
2. “He’s full of energy, and he’s genuine,” said Bucs safety John Lynch. “And he can tell some great stories.”
3. “He’s one of these guys who just has an infectious personality, and I think that’s a really important trait for all coaches,” said Cowboys coach Jason Garrett. “The players play as hard for him as I’ve ever seen any players play for any coach.”
4. “I would say to sum him up, he’s a guy that you would go to war for,” said Chargers linebacker and special teams ace Bront Bird. “He’s a true leader of men. His intensity, passion and most of all knowledge of the craft brings out the very best of his players.”
5. “He’s an excellent coach,” said Jon Gruden, Bisaccia’s boss for eight seasons while with the Bucs. “He’s as versatile a coach as I’ve been around. He could coach any position. I strongly considered making him our defensive line coach when Rod Marinelli left town. I let him coach running backs, and he did an outstanding job.”
—On this date in 1983, Mark Moseley was named the NFL MVP for the 1982 season. He is the only kicker to receive the award.
—Days until: NFL free agency 66; 2014 NFL Draft 124; 2014 Opening Sunday 246
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