One of the first decisions newly named Las Vegas Raiders’ head coach Antonio Pierce made with the team is a direct slap in the face to the previous regime led by former New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. Pierce’s hiring by owner Mark Davis is a sign the Raiders are rejecting Bill Belichick and the “Patriot Way.”
Antonio Pierce will use Tom Coughlin as a consultant
According to Mike Garafolo with the NFL Network, Pierce will use his former head coach with the New York Giants, Tom Coughlin, as a consultant to help the Raiders find their next coaching staff.
Next steps for the #Raiders: Hire a GM and build out Pierce’s coaching staff. Tom Coughlin, who consulted for Pierce during the season, will be among those helping him identify and hire assistants. https://t.co/PlBqy049b9
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) January 19, 2024
Pierce’s public decision to use Coughlin as a consultant is significant after a rather intense Raiders team meeting earlier in the season.
For context, former Patriots were all around the team before and during the 2023 season. Tom Brady asked for minority ownership in the team. McDaniels signed Jimmy Garoppolo and Jakobi Meyers in free agency last year.
But the Raiders experiment with McDaniels crashed and burned on Nov. 1 when he was fired. Days before McDaniels was fired, the team met with McDaniels to discuss issues with his coaching style.
Antonio Pierce talked about the 2007 Giants team
Jay Glazer reported on Fox Sports that Pierce defended McDaniels and the coaching staff in the players’ meeting by referencing the Giants defeating the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. McDaniels was offended by Pierce’s invocation of the Giants.
Per the transcription of Glazer’s comments by the New York Post:
“He brought up the old Giants team that beat the [New England Patriots], Josh McDaniels’ team, in the Super Bowl in the 2007 season,” Glazer reported. “He said, ‘no matter who we played, we thought we could beat them. We had a game plan where we could beat them. We had to believe that and that’s not here.
“‘We have to believe that at the Raiders, we can beat anybody.’ He finishes up that speech, everyone thinks they’re great except for Josh McDaniels.”
The comments, according to Glazer, did not sit well with the then-head coach and he took Pierce aside to address them.
“Josh McDaniels then goes over to him and says, ‘don’t ever talk about the Patriots like that,’” Glazer continued. “And then you really saw how divided that building got. That got up to Mark Davis and I think Mark Davis looked at it and went, ‘OK, I’m gonna choose the guy who believes that we can win every single week.’”
The Las Vegas Raiders reject the ‘Patriot Way’
Davis kept with the decision to go with the Giants’ way when he handed over the permanent head coaching gig to Pierce Friday. The Raiders had a chance to hire Belichick and continue the “Patriot Way” for at least the 2024 season after he parted ways with the Patriots this month.
Davis initially decided to go with Pierce because of the essence of Coughlin’s team that knocked off Belichick. Pierce’s choice of Coughlin’s counsel will ensure the Raiders will set a foundation that continues that spirit for a long time.
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