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Raiders vs Broncos

Wade Vandervort

Las Vegas Raiders interim head coach Antonio Pierce celebrates on the field after his team defeats the Denver Broncos, 27-14, during an NFL football game at Allegiant Stadium Sunday, Jan. 7, 2024.

The Raiders’ players are getting their way. The team is retaining interim coach Antonio Pierce and elevating him to the full-time role for next season after going through the NFL-required search to fill its vacancy.

That’s according to a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, confirming what seemed almost certain after all the Raiders’ most notable players campaigned for Pierce and owner Mark Davis reportedly declined to interview any other candidate twice.

Pierce went 5-4 as the Raiders’ head coach over the second half of the season, including a momentous Christmas Day victory on the road at the Chiefs and a record-breaking win over the Chargers.

The strong finish led to stars like edge rusher Maxx Crosby, wide receiver Davante Adams and running back Josh Jacobs coming out in support of keeping Pierce.

Crosby and Adams are the faces of the franchise, while Jacobs is set to become an unrestricted free agent in March but has expressed a desire to remain in Las Vegas especially with Pierce around.

Pierce took over after Davis fired coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler following a 3-5 start to the season including back-to-back blowout losses to the Bears and Lions.

Champ Kelly took over for Ziegler on an interim basis and is also considered a strong favorite to make his general manager title permanent. But there’s been no official word even though Davis was prioritizing the general manager hire over the head-coaching one based on the timing of his interviews and searches.

Las Vegas looked like one of the worst teams in the NFL when McDaniels was fired, but Pierce led them all the way to a second-place finish in the AFC West. The Raiders even fought their way into playoff contention before being eliminated with a three-point loss in Week 17 at the Indianapolis Colts.

Pierce and defensive coordinator Patrick Graham, who’s had at least one head-coaching interview this offseason with the Seattle Seahawks, elevated the Raiders’ defense to a fringe top 10 unit in the league by most metrics. The offense also slightly improved under Pierce and interim offensive coordinator Bo Hardegree, who’s expected to be let go, despite dealing with the ups and downs of a fourth-round drafted rookie quarterback in Aidan O’Connell.

Pierce’s plan for the offense, including whom he installs at coordinator and quarterback, is the biggest thing to watch this offseason. He likely needed to pitch Davis on his vision during his interview, and it apparently went well.

Pierce becomes the third full-time coach since the Raiders moved to Las Vegas, following McDaniels and Jon Gruden. Rich Bisaccia served as an interim in 2021 and was not kept around despite pleas from players and a run to the playoffs.

Case Keefer can be reached at 702-948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at Keefer can be reached at 702-948-2790 or

Article written by #LasVegasSun