Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Antonio Pierce has earned the Raiders job

Through the 2021 NFL season, the Las Vegas Raiders misplaced head coach Jon Gruden when he resigned midseason after homophobic, misogynistic, and racist emails despatched by the coach surfaced from earlier than he joined the group. The Raiders named particular groups coach Wealthy Bisaccia their interim head coach and made a stunning run to the playoffs.

Solely to show round and hand the job to Josh McDaniels the next offseason.

This yr, the Raiders fired McDaniels midseason and named linebackers coach Antonio Pierce their interim head coach. Pierce took over when the workforce was 3-5, and lacking the playoffs appeared like a foregone conclusion.

Nevertheless, now the Raiders sit at 7-8 on the season, with Pierce having guided the workforce to a 4-3 document below his stewardship. Not solely do the Raiders have an opportunity at making the playoffs — though they would want to win their remaining two video games and get some assist alongside the best way — however the workforce is coming off maybe their two most spectacular wins in latest reminiscence.

Two weeks in the past the Raiders throttled the Los Angeles Chargers on a Thursday evening, ending a three-game shedding streak and placing an finish to the Brandon Staley period in Los Angeles. After struggling a 3-0 defeat to the Minnesota Vikings the earlier week, the Raiders got here out and dropped 63 on the Chargers, together with 42 within the first half alone. It was a franchise document for factors in a sport, and the Raiders set a brand new document for factors by a single workforce after being shut out the earlier week.

Nevertheless, beating a floundering Chargers workforce with out Justin Herbert is one factor. However what the Raiders did on Christmas Day is likely to be Pierce’s finest work but. Las Vegas went into Kansas Metropolis, when the Chiefs had an opportunity at clinching their eighth-straight AFC West title, and stymied Patrick Mahomes and firm. Las Vegas gained that sport 20-14, and held Patrick Mahomes to only 235 passing yards, because the Chiefs offense continues to sputter its solution to the end line.

The outdated linebacker even acquired somewhat emotional after that win:

Alongside the best way, the Raiders appear to have an identification once more, one thing that has been lacking the previous few seasons. Pierce himself pointed to that in an amazing assertion to the media about why he ought to retain the job going ahead:

“My resume is on the grass. What would you like? I can put up a flowery presentation, I’ve seen that earlier than. I can put up stats, I can put up my resume, however the most effective factor that occurred for me was a possibility,” Pierce informed reporters Tuesday .

“I stated this perhaps final week, the worst day I used to be going to be as a head coach was my first day. And every day is my job and I actually take pleasure in rising every day to get higher. No totally different than once I was a participant to get higher. And by the top, you take a look at it, no matter your profession was and no matter my teaching profession is, and also you sit there and say, ‘Look, that is what he was.’ And hopefully (Raiders proprietor) Mark Davis sees enchancment and development inside our workforce.

“He sees the type and play that he needs from the Raiders. He sees a fan base that’s behind us. He sees a constructing that loves coming to work and loves being right here. And those that’s protecting the workforce, having fun with protecting the workforce. And on the finish of the day, we acquired to win. And proper now, my document, our document is 4-3.”

Again in 2021, many believed that the job Bisaccia did down the stretch was sufficient to earn him the job on a everlasting foundation going ahead. Davis, nevertheless, went in a special course, bringing in McDaniels. It was one other offensive-minded head coach hiring, within the wake of Davis hiring Gruden.

The workforce went 9-16 below McDaniels.

The Raiders must keep away from making the identical mistake they did again in 2021, turning their backs on what labored down the stretch that season. Pierce, with what he has accomplished total, and particularly these previous two weeks, has earned this job going ahead.

His resume, as he says, is on the grass.

And it’s a good one.

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