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Mark Davis makes bold moves with new coach, GM after recent firings

Publish Date: 11/05/2023
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster

Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis is in a dire situation after his NFL team lost its head coach with more than two months left in the season.

The team just saw Davis fire head coach Josh McDaniels, along with general manager Dave Ziegler and offensive coordinator Mick Lombardi, following a 14-26 loss to the Detroit Lions on October 30

“Unfortunately, I had great hopes for Josh and Dave,” Davis told ESPN on Wednesday. “It just seemed we were going in the wrong direction. So, with the trade deadline, I just felt it was time to make a change, time to make a move.”

Prior to Davis’ latest decision, Las Vegas had gone through a midseason coaching change two years ago. In 2021, inappropriate emails from the then-coach Jon Gruden led to the hiring of special team coach Rich Bisaccia.

However, this time, Davis made the decision to remove McDaniels and Co. This situation is being discussed in the wake of Davis appointing former linebacker Antonio Pierce, who previously played for the New York Giants and Washington Commanders, as the interim head coach. Davis has also hired the more easygoing Champ Kelly as interim GM.

‘A total wild card’

An anonymous NFL general manager said that Davis is “a total wild card,” after the late-night firings.

“He just blew everything up at the trade deadline,” the manager said. “The last two coaches had total control of the building and too much power, and he’s still paying them both. Hiring [Pierce] would be totally different for him, and for a lot less. If they play hard for him, I could see it.”

Davis expressed his intrigue regarding Pierce’s background, which includes a nine-year NFL career as a linebacker, a Pro Bowl selection and a Super Bowl title with the New York Giants.

“Seemed like a fresh approach,” Davis said. “Seemed like the adjustment we need at this time. I was impressed.”

Antonio Pierce will be the 12th different person to coach a game for the Raiders in the last two decades, encompassing interim appointments, making it the highest turnover of any franchise during this period.

Davis further clarified that he desired Pierce to assume a leadership role, emphasizing delegation to coordinators and other position coaches. He expressed confidence in this choice, which would create someone the team could readily follow.

Additionally, quarterbacks coach Bo Hardegree was promoted to offensive coordinator and play-caller.

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