3 reasons the Raiders must bring back Antonio Pierce as head coach

The Las Vegas Raiders played an inspired brand of football down the stretch in 2023, thanks to the leadership of interim head coach Antonio Pierce.

Denver Broncos v Las Vegas Raiders
Denver Broncos v Las Vegas Raiders / Ethan Miller/GettyImages
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Defense performed better under Pierce

The Raiders defense has been a sore spot for the last few years. The failed attempt by Josh McDaniels to lay the blame on Derek Carr's shoulders was always due to ignorance and lack of self-accountability for a poor coaching scheme.

Using the same defense, Pierce was able to stuff the Chiefs and score two touchdowns on defense leading the Raiders to a close win against their hated rival. Even better? The win was at Arrowhead. In the games that Antonio Pierce took over, the Raiders defense was ranked first at just 16 points per game.

The entire time Josh McDaniels was in charge, the Raiders ranked 28th.

A former defensive player himself, Pierce brought intensity and commanded respect as the coach leading the defense to perform better. One thing I noticed on film was the willingness to move Maxx Crosby around on the field.

Crosby played LE and RE as well as NT on a few plays and even stood up some plays. The secondary was much better coached, the linebackers were hitting holes, and the defense line was aggressive at getting to the quarterback more. It was a complete rebirth for this defense, and you have to be excited about what the future holds on that side of the ball.

Hopefully, the team can get Patrick Graham back in 2024 as well.