On Halloween night, the Las Vegas Raiders decided to put an end to the painful era of Josh McDaniels as the team's head coach. From the start, it was clear that McDaniels was the wrong choice for this franchise, as he turned the roster upside down trying to bring the Patriot Way to Las Vegas.
After a 3-5 start to the season, McDaniels, general manager Dave Ziegler, and offensive coordinator Mick Lombardi were shown the door, clearing the way for Antonio Pierce to take over as head coach. Champ Kelly was named interim general manager, and Bo Hardegree was named interim offensive coordinator in an overhaul that saw the Raiders finish the season strong.
All told, the Raiders went 5-4 in Pierce's nine games as interim head coach, and were in every game they played. Down the stretch, Las Vegas beat all three of their division rivals, and after a win against Denver at home in Week 18, fans were screaming for Mark Davis to remove Pierce's interim tag.
Today, the Raiders will likely make it official, as sources claim a deal is imminent. It was the right move by Davis, as Pierce won over the locker room and the fan base, and based on the job he did, other NFL teams were looking to interview him for their head coach vacancies.
Raiders look to the future with Pierce at the helm
Now that the Raiders have put their head coach search to bed, the time is now for Pierce and company to turn this franchise into a perennial playoff contender. The NFL is trending towards guys considered 'leaders of men' to take over head coaching jobs, and Pierce's leadership abilities are unquestioned.
What is questioned is some of the in-game moves he made in 2023, though he will get better in that department as he gets more experience in the role. This is a move that will unite the fan base and the locker room, and we want to congratulate AP on not only winning this job with what he did on the field, but also by earning the respect of the Silver and Black.