Considering they didn't actually, you know, make the playoffs, there's probably a good (or at least interesting?) argument to be made that the Raiders had one of the more successful seasons across the NFL last year. Not very often do teams fire their coach mid-season and still end up stumbling into their next guy immediately. But that's what happened when then-interim head coach Antonio Pierce took the reins, steering the team out of a 3-5 hole and into a 8-9 season. It was unquestionably a step in the right direction, and there were more than a few Raiders stars who were vocal supporters of bringing Pierce back on a full deal before the team did so. His impact on that locker room was obvious, and while doing the rounds at Super Bowl LVIII's radio row on Monday, Raiders QB Aidan O'Connell explained just how Pierce managed to salvage the season.
"He was put in a tough situation obviously," O'Connell said. "And for him to come in and do what he did, clean up a mess ... it was a great job by him. I think guys rallied around him."
"We rallied behind him," wide receiver Jakobi Meyers added. "Because that's what he promoted. He really brought us together as a team, so having him back will be a good place to start. I'm excited to see where the team can go with a full year of it."
To O'Connell's credit, it was a seamless transition from actual answer to product placement. He may not have a future throwing passes in Las Vegas, but he definitely has one throwing pitches. You can watch the entire interview below:
There are plenty of good nuggets in there about the start of Pierce's tenure in Las Vegas, what O'Connell and Meyers like each other's play on the field, and what the future looks like for the Raiders. There are also, of course, product placements galore. That's the rub with Radio Row week – you're going to get a ton of good soundbites surrounded by players trying to explain why DiGiorno is the only frozen pizza brand they trust to come home to after a long day of practice. At the very least, the vibes in Vegas seem high.
Bounty will have a 2-story structure at Radio Row and will be hosting athletes throughout the week to talk how you can’t have football without wings, and wings without Bounty.