Las Vegas Raiders legend Howie Long believes that Antonio Pierce is building the right culture for the Silver and Black.
Pierce has the remainder of the 2023 NFL season to have the interim tag removed from his head coaching job with the Raiders. The Super Bowl champions need players to buy into what he’s selling, and so far, it’s working.
While the team struggled under former head coach Josh McDaniels, leading to his firing, the squad has responded to Pierce. Even though there are aspects in which the team can improve, it’s a different environment around the Raiders locker room.
Howie Long: Antonio Pierce knows what it means to be a Raider…
Las Vegas has been down this path before with Rich Bisaccia. The special team coordinator wasn’t an offensive guru. However, he commanded respect in the locker room and guided the Raiders to the playoffs in 2021. Still, it wasn’t enough for him to keep the job.
Nonetheless, Long feels Raiders owner Mark Davis might have learned from that mistake. While Pierce might not be an offensive-minded coach, he can be a leader, and sometimes that’s important to build a sustainable culture.
“Let’s take a look at what Antonio does,” Long told Kay Adams on a recent episode of “Up and Adams.” “Antonio grew up in Compton. When I was playing at the Coliseum, he was a big Raider fan. He understands the history. He understands the kind of the identity of the football team.”
Can Antonio Pierce build a culture with the Raiders?
The Raiders went after that offensive guru in McDaniels. Still, the former New England Patriots offensive coordinator showed his inability to build a culture and convince the squad that he could lead them in the right direction.
Nonetheless, Long believes that Pierce can build that culture that Bisaccia had with some of the players who are still on this team and were part of the group that reached the playoffs in 2021.
“Sometimes, the guy in the front of the room—I call it the Saran wrap factor—when they get in front of the room, in front of a bunch of grown men, can they lead? Can they create a culture? Can they create an identity? I think he can do those two things,” Howie Long added.
If Pierce can get this squad into the playoffs, it will be hard to argue that he cannot keep the job. It would be in the Raiders’ best interest to allow him to keep building a culture and avoid making the same mistake again.
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