HomeFootball DirtRaiders and Antonio Pierce Close to Finalizing Head Coach Deal

Raiders and Antonio Pierce Close to Finalizing Head Coach Deal

Published on

spot_img

Mark Davis regretted passing on interim HC Rich Bisaccia two years ago. The owner is not going to let Antonio Pierce go. The Raiders and Pierce are finalizing an agreement for the linebackers coach-turned-interim leader to become the franchise’s full-time head coach, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports.

Pierce’s experience level will make this one of the most shocking HC ascensions in modern NFL history, but Raiders players — in an effort Maxx Crosby spearheaded — have lobbied for Davis to elevate Pierce to the full-time role. The former Super Bowl-winning linebacker was viewed as the favorite following Crosby’s threat at requesting a trade in the event the Raiders went in another direction; Pierce is now on the doorstep of making a major climb.

Pierce, 45, will become the first interim HC moved to a permanent post since the Jaguars removed Doug Marrone‘s interim tag in 2017. Teams passing on an interim leader in order to hire a flashier option has been the modern NFL norm, and far more experienced options compared to Pierce — Bisaccia included — have come and gone. While Davis greenlighting a former Josh McDaniels assistant to take over less than three months after he pulled the plug on the McDaniels era 1 1/2 seasons in, Pierce went 5-4 as interim HC and became wildly popular with Raider players.

Other teams had noticed Pierce as well. The Falcons and Titans sent out interview requests; the then-temporary Raiders leader interviewed with the Titans virtually last week. As the interest escalated, the Raiders are making one of the bolder HC moves in NFL history. A GM will now need to be hired, and interim leader Champ Kelly having sat in on HC interviews early points to the Raiders giving strong consideration to keeping their end-of-season setup in place. Though, other candidates will need to be interviewed to comply with the Rooney Rule. Pierce’s former Giants head coach, Tom Coughlin, is set to help his ex-pupil assemble a staff, NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo tweets. Coughlin was among the coaches who helped Pierce once the Raiders made him interim HC.

Pierce is less than two years removed from resigning from his co-defensive coordinator post at Arizona State amid an NCAA investigation. He spent four years with the Sun Devils, moving to the co-DC role in 2020, before McDaniels brought him aboard as Raiders linebackers coach shortly after his Arizona exit. As recently as 2017, Pierce was the head coach of Long Beach Poly High. That said, Pierce’s coaching experience does not trail new Patriots HC Jerod Mayo‘s by too much. While Mayo has been viewed as the Bill Belichick heir apparent for at least two years, he only began work as a full-time Patriots staffer in 2019. This HC hiring period has featured starring roles by linebackers of the 2000s and 2010s.

More to come.

Latest articles

Observations on QB Prospects: Williams, Patriots, Commanders, Giants

Caleb Williams is still expected to be the first pick in the upcoming draft,...

49ers Re-Sign Wide Receiver Trent Taylor

Returning after a three-year absence, Trent Taylor has agreed to rejoin the San Francisco...

Full NFL first-round draft order, beginning with the Chicago Bears

The 2024 NFL Draft kicks off April 25. We know who will be making...

Teams in NFL: Newton, Lions, Latu, Bills, Titans, Texans, Jets, Eagles, Broncos, Cardinals, Commanders, Giants, Panthers.

April 16th, 2024 at 4:51pm CST by Sam Robinson On Wednesday, "30" visits came...

More like this

Observations on QB Prospects: Williams, Patriots, Commanders, Giants

Caleb Williams is still expected to be the first pick in the upcoming draft,...

Full NFL first-round draft order, beginning with the Chicago Bears

The 2024 NFL Draft kicks off April 25. We know who will be making...

Teams in NFL: Newton, Lions, Latu, Bills, Titans, Texans, Jets, Eagles, Broncos, Cardinals, Commanders, Giants, Panthers.

April 16th, 2024 at 4:51pm CST by Sam Robinson On Wednesday, "30" visits came...