The talk around the Las Vegas Raiders continues to be whether interim coach Antonio Pierce has earned the permanent head coaching job. Following the team’s upset win over the Kansas City Chiefs on Christmas Day that noise has gotten even louder as many have called for the interim tag around Pierce to be removed.
Hall of Famer Michael Strahan says he deserves the job while current star defensive end Maxx Crosby has reportedly already gone to ownership to vouch for Pierce as well. Franchise legends like Tim Brown and Howie Long have spoken highly, and current players like Davante Adams and Jack Jones continually praise all he has done.
Now another Raiders legend has spoken in Pierce’s favor as well. Hall of Famer Charles Woodson has become the latest to endorse Pierce as the Raiders’ next head coach, believing he has done everything to show he is capable of handling the job, via Austin Boyd of Heavy.com:
“I don’t think he could have done a better job,” Woodson said of Pierce during a December 27 appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “And to go on the road and beat the Chiefs, beat one of our biggest rivals, in the fashion that they did. He’s put his stamp on his team. And so yeah, Mark [Davis] can go out and he can look far and wide, but he’s not going to find another Raider that understands what this thing should look like more so than Antonio Pierce. So I would give him my blessing. You know, from what I’ve seen so far, I think the players have given him his blessing as well, the way they performed. And I would be very happy with Antonio Pierce being the guy going forward.”
At this point, it is becoming harder and harder to deny Pierce the opportunity to coach the Raiders permanently. The players clearly love him and are inspired by him, and the results on the field have come as well with the Raiders still in playoff contention despite all of the ups and downs.
Pierce has rallied this team and the energy around the Raiders is nothing like how it was at the outset of the season. The team still has two more games left against the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos and barring a pair of absolute stinkers in those contests, the wishes of Woodson and many others inside and outside of the Raiders locker room should come to fruition with Antonio Pierce being the head coach moving forward.