Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis is impressed with the team’s energy under interim head coach Antonio Pierce ahead of Sunday’s away game against the Miami Dolphins.
Pierce, 45, took over for the recently fired Josh McDaniels, who was fired on Halloween (October 31) when the team (3-5) was in real danger of missing the playoffs at the time.
Pierce made his head coaching debut against the New York Giants, for whom he had previously played. The Raiders won the game 30-6 before defeating the Jets in Week 10, 16-12, to go 5-5 and second in the AFC West – a wild-card spot.
Two years ago, the Raiders had a similar success story, reaching the postseason with Rich Bisaccia appointed as interim head coach following the resignation of Jon Gruden, and with the team starting the year with a 1-3 record.
But Davis believed McDaniels, then the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach of the New England Patriots, was the right man to carry forward his vision of an exciting brand of football beyond the end of the 2021 season.
Raiders owner Mark Davis before the Raiders play the New York Jets on Nov. 12
Interim head coach Antonio Pierce is 2-0 since taking over last month ahead of a visit to Miami
Unfortunately for both of them, things didn’t go as planned. Davis has yet to specify what Pierce needs to do to get the full-time job at the start of the 2024 season, but the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that Davis has “noticed” a real change in energy among the players since he has been staffed got. change, last month.
Pierce exudes a go-for-it attitude that was missing before he took over, which reportedly pleased Davis.
“Davis privately noted this week that last week’s primetime win over the Jets felt like a real home game for the first time in a long time, sources say,” Rapoport wrote ahead of this weekend’s game against Miami. “That matters.”
The Raiders are back in playoff contention with a 5-5 record and sit second in the AFC West
Players Davis spoke to before firing McDaniels — including Maxx Crosby, Josh Jacobs and Davante Adams — have praised Pierce’s management style and approach to games, and so did the head coach of the AFC-leading Dolphins ahead of Sunday’s game.
“What always stands out to me when it happens, when you have a coaching change and then you have immediate success, followed by another game of success, is that the locker room feels some energy,” Miami head coach McDaniel said.
‘It gets people moving. It brings people together. No one likes to say goodbye to people they know and work with. I don’t care what you say. Even when you’re going through hard times, it’s hard to say goodbye to people.”