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ESPN insider believes Raiders will hire Antonio Pierce

The Raiders have started to interview potential head coaching candidates over the last few days, including meeting with Leslie Frazier and Kris Richard.

It’s notable that the Raiders haven’t met with an offensive-minded head coach yet, as Mark Davis appears to be prioritizing defense this time around. Maybe the team has other offensive-minded coaches on their shortlist, but that hasn’t been confirmed yet.

The expectation around the league is that the Raiders will ultimately choose Antonio Piece to be their full-time head coach. According to ESPN insider Dan Graziano, that appears to be where the Raiders are leaning:

Pierce has the very fervent and public backing of the Raiders’ players, most notably star edge rusher Maxx Crosby. After letting go of popular interim coach Rich Bisaccia two years ago in favor of the failed McDaniels experiment, team owner Mark Davis could give the players what they want this time around. Pierce went 5-4 as the interim coach after serving as the team’s linebackers coach in 2022 and the first half of 2023.

Pierce does have a lot of public support going for him and the fact that the defense was so much improved under him does warrant a lot of consideration. And if the Raiders aren’t going to be in the running for Jim Harbaugh, Pierce does appear to be the best option for Las Vegas this time around.

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Story originally appeared on Raiders Wire