Report: Raiders leaning toward Antonio Pierce as next head coach

Jan 13, 2024, 8:53 AM | Updated: 10:22 am

Interim head coach Antonio Pierce of the Las Vegas Raiders slaps hands with defensive end Maxx Cros...

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 14: Interim head coach Antonio Pierce of the Las Vegas Raiders slaps hands with defensive end Maxx Crosby #98 as he comes off the field after the defense stopped the Los Angeles Chargers on a third-down play in the third quarter of their game at Allegiant Stadium on December 14, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Raiders defeated the Chargers 63-21. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Antonio Pierce is the frontrunner for the head-coaching job with the Las Vegas Raiders, ESPN reported.

Per the report, the Raiders’ leaders have endorsed Pierce, who was elevated from linebackers coach to interim head coach when Josh McDaniels was fired on Oct. 31.

The Raiders have yet to interview any candidates, though they have a reported interest in Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh.

Las Vegas might not want to wait to accelerate the hiring process if Pierce is the choice. ESPN reported that Pierce was set to interview with the Tennessee Titans for their vacancy on Saturday.

The Raiders were 3-5 when McDaniels was dismissed, and Pierce led the team to a 5-4 record on his watch. They won three of their final four games, all over AFC West opponents, to finish 8-9 and in second place in the division.

Edge rusher Maxx Crosby is among the players to voice support for Pierce, 45.

“When you have the right culture, a guy like A.P. that embraces the history of the Raiders, it’s special,” he said. “… A ton of legends [visit] consistently because the amount of respect they have for him. So it makes you, as a player, want to go out there and show who you are. You know what I mean? You want to be at that level one day.”

Pierce played nine seasons in the NFL with Washington (2001-04) and the New York Giants (2005-09), with whom he won a Super Bowl. He coached at Long Beach Poly High School in California from 2014-17 before working under Herm Edwards at Arizona State. He moved on to the Raiders in 2022.

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