Raider Nation reacts to interim HC Antonio Pierce passionate opening press conference

Wednesday, 15 hours after the team announced the firing of head coach Josh McDaniels and GM Dave Ziegler, the two men stepping up to fill their shoes stepped in front of the media to make statements and answer questions.

Antonio Pierce in particular came in hot, firing off quotable, inspirational words that would have any player wanting to play for him. And the fans were into it as well.

“It’s a new day. It’s a new chapter. It’s a new era. It’s a new mindset. What is that mindset? It’s that of the Raider pride. The Commitment to Excellence. And making sure our alumni, our fanbase, and Raider Nation are proud of what they see on the field. What does that look like? Tough, passionate, effort, energy, and enthusiasm that you see when we all watch our kids and these young men who are now pro athletes played with they they all were in Pop Warner. Having that love for the game. We’re on the same page, Champ and myself. Our staff is connected, we had a great team meeting this morning. Everybody was steely-eyed and focused. We walked in with a smile on our face. The synergy, the energy in this building, the personality of our players will reflect on who we are as Raiders.

“We’re tired of losing. It’s not a good feeling. We’re a production based business. We’re about competition, being competitive and playing with an edge and a swag and a certain confidence every time we walk out that damn tunnel that everybody that is watching on TV can see the product that we’re putting out there is something to be proud of.”

“I’ve been fortunate. From playing at a high level. Went all the way back to my roots and coached at Long Beach Poly High School as a head coach there. Was at the New York Giants in 2017 and then college for four years. And I had opportunities and go to other organizations and I decide not to. The short story, the matter of fact is I grew up in Compton California. I was born a Raider. I was born with the Raiders rolling in the coliseum in LA. I was rolling NWA talking Straight Outta Compton, rocking Raider hats. So, when the opportunity came to work with Pat Graham and Josh and Dave, I jumped on it. So, that’s what set me up for this. I was born this way.”

“I’m relying on our leaders to lead. I’m coming in here with the game plan. This is the picture we’re trying to paint. But they’ve got to carry it throughout. The best teams that I’ve ever been on as a player or as a coach, player ran. Player ran, bottom line. Davante knows what it is. Maxx Crosby knows what it is. Robert Spillane knows what it is. Our captains and leaders know what it takes. They’ve got to go out there and do it, and they’ve got to carry that message to make sure that resonates and we block out all of this outside noise, because we’re going to get some over the next 72-plus hours. And it’s us against the world. That’s our mentality right now, us against the world, Raider nation against everybody else.”

“[Offensive coordinator Bo [Hardegree] went in here today, the offense, I spoke with those gentlemen. They know exactly the task and the plan going forward and what kind of offense we want to portray. Now, are you going to sit there and rip up the whole playbook? No. But you better go to your key guys. I’m not a fool. I’m a player. Remember I was a player before I was a coach. Player ran business.”


Story originally appeared on Raiders Wire