After leading the Las Vegas Raiders to the playoffs as an interim head coach back in 2021, many in Raider Nation wanted Mark Davis to hire Rich Bisaccia full-time. He has banded the team together through one of the more tumultuous seasons in team history, as the Silver and Black dealt with major issues on and off the field.
However, instead of hiring someone who had taken over the locker room, earned the players respect, and more importantly, led the team to their second playoff appearance since the 2002 NFL season, Mark Davis decided to try and make the Raiders New England-West. He brought in Dave Ziegler at general manager and Josh McDaniels as head coach, hoping to rekindle the magic of so many Patriots teams who won Super Bowls.
Instead, the Raiders fell on their faces, McDaniels was fired this season on Halloween night, and once again the team missed the playoffs. Through all of that, some good came out of it, as the move to make Antonio Pierce proved to be a good one, as he kept the Raiders in every game he coached, and nearly pulled off a miraculous run to the playoffs.
With talent as good as anybody on offense and defense, as well as elite special teams players in Daniel Carlson and AJ Cole, the 2024 Raiders could make a run to the playoffs. However, it will be Davis's decisions at head coach and general manager that will decide whether that comes to fruition.
Raiders owner entering most crucial offseason of his tenure
Stars like Davante Adams and Maxx Crosby have already stated they would like Pierce back as the team's head coach, and you have to like what Champ Kelly has done in his short time as interim general manager. Overall, that tandem has breathed life back into the Raiders franchise, and the team is playing with passion, especially on the defensive side of the ball.
Will Davis make the same mistake he made two offseasons ago when he decided to roll the dice on a big name like McDaniels at head coach?
Whatever he decides, it will have long-term repercussions throughout the organization for years. A move away from Pierce could turn the locker room into a toxic place, and stars may be looking to get out of Las Vegas in a hurry if Davis makes a decision that they do not like.
Week 18 is a crucial one for many players as well, including Aidan O'Connell, who would like to prove to the coaching staff that he should be the team's quarterback moving forward. The 2024 Las Vegas Raiders have the potential to be a special unit, but it will all depend on what Davis decides to do at the helm this offseason.