The Las Vegas Raiders were dealt a shocking blow earlier this week when wide receiver Henry Ruggs was arrested for a DUI resulting in death. He was immediately released from the team and now faces criminal charges for his actions in residential Las Vegas.
Interim head coach Rich Bisaccia continues to face a constant uphill battle this season. From the circumstances that led to his hiring to now, he has repeatedly had to put out fires caused by members of the Raiders.
With regard to the Ruggs controversy, Bisaccia spoke about how the team can move forward. “There is no blueprint for this,” Bisaccia said. “There is no handbook that they give you for the obstacles that you occur, whether you’re a parent, whether you’re a teacher; my dad drove a truck, so there is no blueprint for these things.”
“I just think we all lean on each other in there and there is a lot of other coaches on the staff that have a lot of experiences. We have players that have gone through other things, so I think we’ve done a good job of communicating with each other. We’ve tried to give the best resources that we have to our players within (Director of Player Engagement) Montelle [Sanders] and (Team Clinician) Jean [Fajardo] and people in their department and then certainly what we’ve done as coaches. Again, we’ll see how we respond to the situation we are in.”
The Raiders have already made a correct first step by releasing Ruggs, who will remain a free agent until his legal situation is no longer in limbo. According to various rumors, Ruggs could face a minimum of two years in jail if found guilty.
This is the type of situation that a team hopes to never have to deal with. Now, the Raiders must find a way forward to get through the rest of their season. They remain atop the standings in the AFC West with a game against the New York Giants this week.
After that, they’ll face a gauntlet of games against the struggling, but always dangerous Kansas City Chiefs, the Cincinnati Bengals, and the Dallas Cowboys.
Derek Carr discusses Ruggs
Bisaccia was not the only Raiders figurehead who had to publicly respond to Ruggs’ actions, as Carr was also asked to speak on the subject. “It broke my wife and I’s heart, honestly. We talked about it a little bit, but I can only talk about it so much.”
“Whether it’s fair or not, I have to compartmentalize and I have a job to do. I want to say a lot of different things. But we have a game this week and I’ve got a job to do, and so do the guys in that locker room. We have all of these things that we still have to do. I don’t know the right way to handle it, but I’m doing my best.”