It’s official. The Las Vegas Raiders have their head coach. And they didn’t have to go far to get him.
According to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, th Raiders have named Antonio Pierce as their full-time head coach.
The new #Raiders coach: Antonio Pierce.
Players will be psyched. And now Maxx Crosby doesn’t need to ask to be traded. pic.twitter.com/x3UrMKfMtu
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 19, 2024
After taking over for the fired Josh McDaniels midway through the season, Pierce led the Raiders to a 5-4 record. And he earned a ton of praise and respect from his players along the way.
In fact, Raiders superstar Maxx Crosby threatened to demand a trade if the Raiders didn’t keep Pierce in place as their head coach after the season.
The decision is an interesting one — and probably the right one — from Raiders owner Mark Davis.
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – OCTOBER 22: A detail of a Las Vegas Raiders helmet prior to the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on October 22, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Two years ago he was faced with a very similar situation, as interim head coach Rich Bisaccia was coming off an impressive season where he led the team to a 7-5 record after taking over for Jon Gruden. Despite an overwhelming sense of support for Bisaccia from the players in the locker room, Davis decided to hire Josh McDaniels — which turned out to be a disaster for the next season-and-a-half.
It’s nice to see Mark Davis listening to his players this time around.