This Sunday's game will be another homecoming for Rich Bisaccia, as he returns to the Empire State, this time as an interim head coach.
Bisaccia will be leading the 5-2 Raiders to MetLife Stadium on Sunday to face the New York Giants – a game held in a stadium 20 miles south of where he grew up in Yonkers, New York.
"I mean, my dad was the head football coach at New York Giants, he just never told anybody," Bisaccia joked with the media during his introductory press conference as interim head coach.
Three weeks later, when asked about coaching against his hometown team, he reminded everyone of his initial comments, yet also selling the matchup as just another game and the latest obstacle in his team's view.
"I think I made a comment that first press deal that my dad was the head coach of the Giants, he just never told anybody, and I don't think anybody got that. I think they were googling to see if my dad was the head coach of the Giants," Bisaccia said. "Fortunately for me, I've played against them a lot now.
"When we were in Dallas, we obviously played up there every year and when I was in Tampa, I had a chance to play up there. For me, it's always exciting to go home, but for us, it's a huge challenge. Coming off a bye, everyone has written about our record coming off a bye that it hasn't been very good here as of late. ... We are going to go up there and play a big, physical, well-coached football team. So, that's really more of the challenge for me then actually going home."
The "well-coached football team" Bisaccia is referring to is led by a familiar face and friend of his, Joe Judge. Judge is in his second year as the Giants head coach, after winning three Super Bowls with the New England Patriots as their special teams coordinator.
"Richie's a guy I've known for some time now, he's done a terrific job," Judge told Giants media Nov. 3. "He's very situationally aware. He's very fundamentally sound in terms of how he coaches. He believes in a good, balanced offensive attack and good complementary football."
Bisaccia reciprocated the same positive comments back to Judge saying, "Whatever he said about me, if it was good, just take them and rewrite them about him if you could."
"I know a lot about Joe. I know his trip through Mississippi State and through Alabama and the coaches he's had a chance to be around," Bisaccia added. "And then special teams coaches in the league, we kind of have maybe a special bond or certainly a connection because we go through the same obstacles. So, the only thing I could say about Joe is he's a tough guy and he comes from detailed coaches, which makes him an extremely detailed head football coach."