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Antonio Pierce deserves to get Raiders’ interim tag removed

Last month, as the Raiders were preparing to take on the Giants in what would be Antonio Pierce's head coaching debut, I spoke with several Giants officials who worked closely with Pierce when he was a linebacker for the Giants. I got in touch.

Pierce had just been named interim coach after the Raiders fired Josh McDaniels.

The first person I called was former Giants head coach Tom Coughlin. He knows a thing or two about coaching, but he was very bullish on Pierce's ability to be a great head coach.

After seven games, Pierce has a 4-3 record as the Raiders' head coach, reinvigorating and reinvigorating a dysfunctional team despite having never been a head coach before. gave and stabilized.

That's why it's time for him to shed the “interim” label before “head coach.”

Pierce's sample size as a head coach is enough to show that he has what it takes to lead a team as well as the linebacker room as a position coach.

Antonio Pierce has led the Raiders to a 4-3 record since taking over as interim head coach. AP

The Raiders, fresh off last week's victory over the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs, who are the perennial holders of the AFC West title, will face the Colts on Sunday. Las Vegas, with a 7-8 record, needs help but is still in the playoff hunt. In fact, the Raiders still have little chance of winning the district championship.

The Raiders were a dead team when McDaniels was fired and Pierce was promoted.

Under McDaniels, they went 3-5, averaging 15.8 points per game on offense and 23.4 points per game on defense. He is 4-3 with an average of 22.7 points and 15.3 goals against under Pierce.

Pierce, who was never a wallflower, has publicly stumped himself as the long-term answer to Raiders owner Mark Davis.

“My resume is on the lawn,” Pearce told reporters this week. “What? I can give fancy presentations, I've seen it before. I can present statistics or present my resume, but what happened to me? The best thing that happened was the opportunity. My worst day as a head coach was my first day. And every day is my job and I really take pride in growing every day to get better. To get better. It's no different than when I was a player.

Mark Davis could take the interim tag off Antonio Pierce this offseason. Getty Images

“And at the end of the day, whatever my career was, whatever my coaching career was, I look at it and sit there and say, 'Look, this is who he was.'” And Mark Davis. I hope he improves and grows within our team. He sees the style and play he wants for the Raiders. He recognizes that we have a fan base behind us. He I saw a building that I love coming to work and I love being here. At the end of the day, we had to win. And my record at this point, our record. has 4 wins and 3 losses.”

One thing Pierce has done is re-establish running back Josh Jacobs as the focal point of the offense. In the first eight games the Raiders played under McDaniels, Jacobs had 20 or more carries just twice. In the five games he has been on the active roster under Pierce, Jacobs has already topped 20 carries three times.

The Raiders have installed Antonio Pierce as interim head coach and are relying more on Josh Jacobs. Getty Images
Antonio Pierce's breakthrough with the Raiders happened alongside quarterback Aidan O'Connell. USA TODAY Sports (via Reuters Con)

Defensively, the Raiders allowed 30 points to the Bears the week before McDaniels was fired, but the Bears were quarterbacked by Tyson Bageant, an undrafted free agent rookie from a Division II college. Under Pierce, the Chiefs have only allowed more than 22 points once.

Pierce's Giants teammate, Michael Strahan, who is now a commentator for Fox Sports, highlighted Pierce on the air last week, emphasizing the “great job” his former teammate has done with the Raiders.

“This isn't about his staff. He inherited this staff from Josh McDaniels, who was the coach there,” Strahan reasoned. “I'm very excited for Antonio Pierce to have the opportunity to lead this Raiders team as the permanent head coach. I think he deserves it.”

Strahan called last week's win over Kansas City “a statement of how great he is as a coach, as a motivator and as a leader of men. That's what he did for me with the Giants. Yes, and that's what I'm doing now as the Giants coach.” Raiders. ”

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