Raiders appoint Antonio Pierce as interim head coach after McDaniels’ dismissal

Antonio Pierce

The Las Vegas Raiders have announced that they have relieved head coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler of their duties after a disappointing 3-5 start to the season. The Raiders lost their second consecutive game on Monday night, falling to the Detroit Lions 23-6 in a lackluster performance. The Raiders have scored only 13 points in their last two games and have been outscored by 50 points in their five losses.

The decision to fire McDaniels and Ziegler comes less than two years after they were hired by owner Mark Davis in January 2022. McDaniels, who had previously coached the Denver Broncos and the New England Patriots, had a 9-16 record with the Raiders. Ziegler, who was the director of pro personnel for the Patriots, had overseen the Raiders’ roster moves and draft picks.

Davis said in a statement that he was grateful for McDaniels and Ziegler’s contributions, but that he felt a change was necessary to improve the team’s performance and culture.

“I have made the difficult decision to part ways with Josh McDaniels and Dave Ziegler. I appreciate their hard work and dedication to the Raiders organization, but I believe we need a new direction and a fresh start. We have a talented team that is capable of competing at a high level, but we have not met our expectations. I expect our players and coaches to finish the season with pride and professionalism.”

Antonio Pierce

Pierce takes over as interim head coach

The Raiders have named linebackers coach Antonio Pierce as their interim head coach for the remainder of the season. Pierce is in his second season with the Raiders, after joining McDaniels’ staff in 2022. Pierce has seven years of coaching experience, including five seasons at Arizona State University, where he served as linebackers coach, associate head coach, and defensive coordinator. Pierce also has nine years of NFL playing experience, winning a Super Bowl with the New York Giants in 2007.

Pierce said he was honored and humbled by the opportunity to lead the Raiders, and that he would try to instill a winning mentality and a positive culture in the locker room.

“I want to thank Mark Davis for trusting me with this responsibility. It is a privilege and an honor to be the head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, one of the most storied franchises in NFL history. I also want to thank Josh McDaniels and Dave Ziegler for giving me a chance to be part of this organization. They are great football minds and great people.

I know this is a challenging situation, but I am ready to embrace it. I have learned a lot from my playing and coaching career, and I will use that knowledge and experience to help this team improve. I have a lot of respect for our players and coaches, and I will demand nothing but excellence from them. We have eight games left, and we will play hard, play smart, and play together. We will not give up on this season or on each other.”

Raiders face tough schedule ahead

The Raiders will have their first game under Pierce on Sunday, when they host the Kansas City Chiefs at Allegiant Stadium. The Chiefs are the defending AFC champions and lead the AFC West division with a 6-2 record. The Raiders are currently third in the division, behind the Chiefs and the Los Angeles Chargers (5-3).

The Raiders will face a tough schedule in the second half of the season, as they will play six of their remaining eight games against teams with winning records. The Raiders will also have to deal with some injuries and suspensions, as quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, running back Josh Jacobs, wide receiver Henry Ruggs III, and defensive end Maxx Crosby are all questionable for Sunday’s game.

The Raiders will hope that Pierce can spark some positive changes in the team’s performance and morale, as they try to salvage their season and make a push for the playoffs.

By Kane Wilson

Kane Wilson, founder of this news website, is a seasoned news editor renowned for his analytical skills and meticulous approach to storytelling. His journey in journalism began as a local reporter, and he quickly climbed the ranks due to his talent for unearthing compelling stories. Kane completed his Master’s degree in Media Studies from Northwestern University and spent several years in broadcast journalism prior to co-founding this platform. His dedication to delivering unbiased news and ability to present complex issues in an easily digestible format make him an influential voice in the industry.

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