One of the big questions for the Las Vegas Raiders is whether the team will remove the interim tag from Antonio Pierce and make him the permanent head coach. He has had the support of many, especially within the locker room with star defensive end Maxx Crosby being at the forefront.
Crosby has previously gone to ownership to vouch for Pierce, but now that the offseason is here, the process for the Raiders is moving slowly. The rest of the league isn’t however, as Pierce already has one head coaching interview lined up and may not wait for the Raiders to make up their mind.
The prospect of losing Pierce is real, and that apparently does not sit well with Crosby. In fact, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, Crosby could request a trade if Pierce is not retained:
The #Raiders haven’t conducted any head-coaching interviews. But there is mounting pressure on owner Mark Davis to retain interim coach Antonio Pierce — including from the locker room, with All-Pro edge rusher Maxx Crosby likely to request a trade if Pierce isn’t retained.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) January 13, 2024
If this is the case, that puts a lot of pressure on the Raiders organization. It is one thing to lose a potential head coach, but Crosby is one of the best defenders in the league, as evidenced by his selection to the NFLPA and the AP All-Pro team.
Owner Mark Davis has said that he plans on lining up interviews and going through a search to find the best candidate for the Raiders. But Pierce having interest around the league, and the possibility of Crosby being unhappy could change those plans. One of the most important things for a coach to do is to connect with his players, and Pierce has obviously done that in a big way.
It isn’t just current players who are vouching for Pierce to be the Raiders head coach, but former players and NFL analysts around the league have all said that he has done enough to be the team’s head coach going forward. The question is whether Davis and the Raiders’ front office agree.
The Raiders were in this same position a couple of years ago with Rich Bisaccia leading the team to the playoffs following Jon Gruden’s firing. But the franchise chose to go with Josh McDaniels to take over as head coach and that was a failure. If they choose to go elsewhere again, it had better be the right choice as they can’t make the same mistake, and losing Maxx Crosby over it would compound things exponentially.
Titans request to interview Raiders’ Antonio Pierce for head coach position
The Tennessee Titans have requested to interview Raiders’ interim head coach Antonio Pierce for their head coach position. While they are the first team to do so, they may not be the last as the job Pierce did with the Raiders has been noticed throughout the league.
If nothing else, the pressure will be on the Raiders to move quickly in their head coaching search, or they could lose out on the right guy without having an ideal replacement in mind.