Las Vegas raiders

Raiders owner Mark Davis explains why he wants to fire coach Antonio Pierce at this summer

Raiders owner Mark Davis explains firing: “We were going in the wrong direction”


The NFL trade deadline passed, and although many anticipated that the Raiders would make some trades, it ended up being a chaotic day for other reasons. Unexpectedly, owner Mark Davis decided to terminate general manager Dave Ziegler and coach Josh McDaniels. On Wednesday night, Davis gave reporters an explanation of his thinking behind the choice.



Davis claims that the two were fired because the team was moving in the wrong way. He voiced his displeasure with the Raiders offense, which finished dead last in running yards per game and 29th in points scored in the NFL.



Davis stated: “It just didn’t seem like it was jelling…it just seemed like it was very important that we made a change.” The firing of McDaniels has already led to other changes on the offense, including the firing of offensive coordinator Mick Lombardi and the decision to start Aidan O’Connell over Jimmy Garoppolo against the Giants.

Firing a coach mid-season is always a risk, but Davis is hoping it will spark a positive change for the team. “What I thought was, let’s try to figure out a way to fix this and see what we can do…we still have a shot.” Davis is hopeful that his team can replicate the success they had under interim coach Rich Bisaccia in 2021 when they made it to the playoffs with a 7-5 record over their final 12 games.

Antonio Pierce, who has no NFL coaching experience but impressed Davis with his leadership abilities, was selected by Davis to take over as interim coach. Davis said: “I got the feeling he was the right guy at the right time…someone who can lead and create and have the respect of the team.”

It just so happens that Pierce will be coaching in the NFL against the Giants, his old team. Over the following two weeks, the Raiders will play two games that are seen as winnable: the Giants and the Jets. Pierce may be given consideration for the head coaching position if he can guide the squad to victory. But in the event that he is not selected, seven additional candidates—among them Dallas Cowboys defensive end Dan Quinn, Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan, and struggling Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh—have been ranked on a list.


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