Last week, with his team reeling and mired in a three-game losing streak on a short week, Las Vegas Raiders interim coach Rich Bisaccia said he still believed in his team’s fighting spirit and its chances to salvage the team.
Fast forward a week after the Raiders’ stepped up and won 36-33 in overtime at the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day, and Bisaccia’s thoughts about his now 6-5 team haven’t changed heading into Sunday’s game against the Washington Football Team (which has won three straight games). He just wants his team to keep focusing on playing good fundamental football. Bisaccia knows the Raiders could have easily lost at Dallas, so he told the team as they started this week’s preparations that they can’t let the win mask issues they have.
“Now, that we’ve won, we just have to be careful,” Bisaccia said. “What I told them was, I think when you win a game you have to be careful with the win masking your problems. When you lose a game, you pick at every single thing that happens in the loss. When you win a game, sometimes the tendency is to maybe skim over the things that you didn’t do well and kind of move on to what’s next.
“So, I think we have to do a good job as coaches to look at the things we really didn’t do well although we won the game, just like we would if we lost it. So, we are going to try to do that. We are going to try to have enough self-confidence where we can be self-critical. Not only as coaches, but as players as well.”
With the Raiders on the edge of the AFC playoff chase with six weeks to go, Bisaccia wants the players to be focused on the big picture.
“Never lose sight of the race. Where are we actually in the race? And at this particular point, we are right in the middle of it,” Bisaccia said. “We are in the thick of it and we all think that’s what the league is about right now. We’ve talked about it over and over, it’s a week-to-week league and fortunately for us we’ve played well enough at times to be right in the thick of it. So, to some degree we are in control of making our decisions and how we are going to practice and how we are going to play, and we’ll see how it turns out.”