The Raiders organization is in search of coaching stability, a rare occurrence for the franchise that has not retained a head coach for five consecutive seasons since Tom Flores led from 1982 to 1987.
This year has been no exception to the coaching turmoil, with Josh McDaniels lasting only eight games into his second year before team owner Mark Davis appointed Antonio Pierce as the interim coach. Although Las Vegas fell short of making the playoffs at 7-9, the team has shown improvement under Pierce, boasting a 4-4 record since he assumed the head coaching role, even with fifth-round rookie Aidan O’Connell as the starting quarterback.
Under Pierce’s leadership, the team seems more disciplined, organized, and displays a higher level of effort compared to the tenure of Josh McDaniels. Many believe that Antonio Pierce should be considered for the permanent head coaching position, and on Thursday, defensive end Maxx Crosby, the team’s star player, publicly endorsed Pierce.
According to Crosby, who is having another stellar season with 13.5 sacks and 18 hurries, finding the right head coach is crucial in a league with only 32 head coaching positions worldwide. He emphasized that when there’s a leader of men like Antonio Pierce already in the building, it makes sense to retain such talent.
“There’s only 32 [NFL] head coaches in the whole world,” Crosby said Thursday, via Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.com. “So you’ve got to find a leader of men. And when you’ve got one of them in the building currently, I don’t know why you would let them go.”
Antonio Pierce, a Super Bowl XLII winner as the middle linebacker for the New York Giants, was the Raiders’ linebackers coach before being elevated to the interim head coach position. While lacking prior head coaching experience, Pierce’s leadership qualities and impact on the team have gained significant support. The Raiders will conclude their season against the Broncos on Sunday.