Raiders: 3 reasons hiring Antonio Pierce was the right move

The Las Vegas Raiders have hit a home run with their latest coaching hire, making Antonio Pierce the team's head coach.

Denver Broncos v Las Vegas Raiders
Denver Broncos v Las Vegas Raiders / Ethan Miller/GettyImages
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Pierce has already made successful changes with the Raiders

When Pierce took over after a brutal loss to the Lions on primetime, the team was at near rock bottom. Adams had been seen throwing his helmet in frustration and the offense hadn’t scored twenty points in a game all season. 

Immediately Pierce began making adjustments when he benched veteran quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo who was McDaniels hand hand-picked quarterback to succeed Derek Carr. As the league leader in turnovers at the time of his benching, it was only right to give the reigns to the rookie Aidan O’Connell. 

Of course, O’Connell wasn’t perfect, but he was an improvement over “Jimmy G” and gained some valuable experience in what was essentially a lost season for the Raiders.. 

On defense, many notable changes were made as cornerback Marcus Peters was soon released with many citing his lack of effort as reasoning. Struggling rookie corner Jakorian Bennett also saw his snaps drastically reduced and did not appear in the team's final three games. 

Perhaps his most impactful decision was to utilize pass rusher Malcolm Koonce as a starter instead of a rotational player. Koonce would finish the season with eight sacks and three forced fumbles, all of which came in the nine-game stretch where Pierce was the head coach.