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Mark Davis impressed with team's energy under interim head coach Antonio Pierce

11/19/2023 3:06:53 PM
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Two years ago, an interim head coach took the Raiders to the playoffs, a feel-good story that resulted in ... the hiring of then-Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who did not even last two seasons.

This time around, owner Mark Davis is acutely aware that a similar situation could be in his future, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.

While Davis has not specifically stated what interim coach Antonio Pierce needs to do for the full-time job to be his for the 2024 season and beyond, sources say Davis has noticed the energy in the building that Pierce brought when he was elevated following McDaniels' firing on Oct. 31. While pleasantly surprised in how the team has responded with back-to-back wins, Davis is said to be impressed, sources say.

And why wouldn't he be? After McDaniels' firing, players celebrated like they'd won a game. They then won their next two contests -- and some players smoked cigars in the locker room after their win over the Giants in Pierce's first game in charge.

Players with whom Davis had consulted prior to the shocking move to clean house -- including Maxx Crosby, Josh Jacobs and Davante Adams -- have been outspoken about the new feel of the building and what that can do.

It's not just football. The non-football administrators and business-side staffers can feel it, too.

Davis consulted with several team leaders before firing McDaniels, and he does appear to value the opinion of the locker room. If that's the case, score one for Pierce. Players have commented publicly and privately about how things are finally headed in the right direction and how his motivational tactics are working.

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