Antonio Pierce will be the next head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders. Pierce took over from Josh McDaniels around midseason and went 5-4 in his first nine games. A former Pro Bowler and Super Bowl champion, Pierce had been working as the team’s linebackers coach prior to being elevated to interim head coach.
The Raiders locker room has experienced a massive turnaround under Pierce, who is a much-loved figure within the organization. “It’s legendary. When you have the right culture, a guy like A.P. that embraces the history of the Raiders, it’s special. … A ton of legends [visit] consistently because of the amount of respect they have for him. So it makes you, as a player, want to go out there and show who you are. You know what I mean? You want to be at that level one day,” Maxx Crosby said after the team’s regular-season finale.
Gronk Backs Bill Belichick Amid Falcons Rumors
Meanwhile, Rob Gronkowski has said that his former long-time head coach Bill Belichick is still a “powerhouse”. “I think, 100 percent, he’s still the great Bill Belichick. No doubt about that. If he goes to a team with great players with great talent, he will be successful. Because he’s still the powerhouse coach that we all have seen throughout the years,” Gronk told TMZ this week. However, Gronk also praised Belichick’s New England replacement – his former teammate Jerod Mayo.
However, some former Patriots have offered a warning to Belichick’s next team. Asante Samuel told Belichick’s next employer to keep the legendary coach as a coach only and not, as he had been in New England, general manager also. “If any owner would give Bill Belichick that power again, that would be crazy,” Samuel, who played for Belichick between 2003 and 2007, told TMZ. Belichick served in the dual role of head coach and general manager since taking the helm at Foxoboro in 2000. Over time, Belichick the GM often got in the way of Belichick the head coach. After picking eight Pro Bowlers (and one Hall of Famer) in the first round between 2001 and 2012, Belichick has drafted just one first-round Pro Bowler in the last 11 years.