Having endeared himself to the Las Vegas Raiders roster over the course of the last 13 games of a chaotic and calamitous campaign, interim coach Rich Bisaccia has drawn his share of support from players to become the team's full-time head coach.
Maxx Crosby is most emphatically one of those players.
Crosby provided an unequivocal endorsement for Bisaccia on Tuesday during an appearance on The Rich Eisen Show.
"Rich is one of a kind," Crosby said. "Everybody's been asking, what's going to happen? Everybody knows my vote. I made that very clear. I love Rich. I think he's the best man for the job. He's come in and done such an amazing job. We won 10 games with a team that's had tragedy, loss, everything you could imagine. And he's found a way to get a group of guys to come together and win football games in January and December, which is rare. Rich is the real deal, he's a leader of men."
Bisaccia, an NFL special teams coach for 20 seasons, took over the Raiders' reins after the resignation of Jon Gruden following the release of multiple emails in which Gruden used misogynistic, homophobic and racist terms. Later in the season, wide receiver Henry Ruggs III was released by the team after an arrest in which he was charged with multiple felonies for his role in a deadly traffic collision. Cornerback Damon Arnette was also released after he appeared in a viral video in which he was seen threatening to kill somebody while brandishing a firearm.
It was a season of tragedy and tribulations that was unprecedented, and Bisaccia proved to be a guiding force as the Raiders made the playoffs for the first time since 2016.
With general manager Mike Mayock having been fired Monday, changes are already underway for the Raiders. Still, Bisaccia, the first interim coach in the Super Bowl era to lead a team to the playoffs, is aiming to become the first interim coach retained as full-time head coach since Doug Marrone with the Jaguars (2016-17).
Crosby was a catalyst in the team's playoff push, tallying the first Pro Bowl selection in his three-year career. He believes the 61-year-old Bisaccia has always been there for the Raiders players, before and after he was head coach. And he's hoping that extends past this season.
"I'd go up and walk in his office like he's my friend. I could really have those conversations. You don't find that often, it's just special," Crosby said. "When you have something like that in the building already, in my opinion, you should keep that.
"Even when he wasn't the head coach, he was always the guy you could go to. He was always there for me. He was my guy on the coaching staff that I trusted to go and have those conversations with. Coach Gruden, I'm not taking anything away from coach Gruden, he knows I love him. But at the end of the day, the players are the ones playing, and Rich care about the players No. 1, always. That's what he always says. The guys in the locker room are the most important, they're the ones out there making plays."