Bisaccia's new challenge: ending Packers' special-teams woes

Published Apr. 12, 2022 5:31 p.m. ET

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — New Green Bay Packers special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia has shown he’s capable of doing the improbable.

He took over as

Bisaccia welcomes the responsibility.

“If you can get good people at a great place, then magic can happen,” Bisaccia said Tuesday. “We’re going to look in every nook and cranny to see what we can do to make ourselves better.”



The Packers allowed the tying touchdown on a blocked punt that night, had a field-goal attempt blocked just before halftime, and only had 10 men on the field when San Francisco’s Robbie Gould kicked a winning field goal as time expired.

Green Bay’s kick teams woes began long before that game, though.

“The level of (special teams) play that we had was not acceptable,” general manager Brian Gutekunst said earlier in the offseason. “It’s got to get better. And it’s been that way for a little while. So getting Rich was a big part of that.”

Bisaccia had 20 seasons of experience as a special teams coordinator before getting his surprise assignment to become Las Vegas’ interim head coach. The Raiders went 7-6 under Bisaccia and

which instead

“Last year was a unique year in my personal career, and certainly with the players and coaches that went along with it,” Bisaccia said. “A lot of credit to the coaching staff I was involved with and the way in which the players approached every day and what they dealt with. But I’m here in Green Bay. I’m excited about what’s happening here today.”

The Packers believe Bisaccia’s spirited approach can provide a necessary boost to their special teams.

Packers coach Matt LaFleur called Bisaccia a “fiery dude” while raving about him during the league meetings last month. LaFleur said Bisaccia could “kind of change the culture” of their special teams.

“We use the phrase around here, ‘We-fense,’ “ Bisaccia said. “It’s not really offense. It’s not really defense, it’s kind of we-fense. It’s us. There’s no other place on the field except for the punt team where you can find a linebacker lined up next to a tight end lined up next to a safety, and the running back is the personal protector making all the calls. That’s the only the place you find that on the field.”

The Packers have made some roster moves aimed at improving their special teams.

“He’s got a great mentality,” Bisaccia said. “He’s fast. He’s physical.”

The Packers also switched punters,

Gutekunst has indicated O’Donnell’s holding skills contributed to the Packers’ decision to sign him over Bojorquez,

But the biggest change to Green Bay’s special teams is the guy in charge and the mentality he brings.

“We don’t get three downs to get it right,” Bisaccia said. “We have one play to make a difference, and they have to understand the significance and the criticalness of that particular play. And I think if we can get that across, we’ll play better.”


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