Watch: Antonio Pierce talks how he went to bat for CB Jack Jones to get Raiders to sign him

With Josh McDaniels in charge, the Raiders had a swagger problem. They got plenty of it when Antonio Pierce took over as head coach. But he needed all the players on board with that. He had a few who were created their own including Maxx Crosby and Robert Spillane, and was looking for more.

That’s when Jack Jones hit the waiver wire. Pierce had coached Jones in high school and in college. Jones had become known for having some off field issues including getting caught with a firearm in the airport of all places.

So, when he was cut by the Patriots late last season, many teams would shy away from him. But not Pierce. he wanted Jones on his team right away.

Here he talks about how Raiders GM Champ Kelly and owner Mark Davis were hesitant to add Jones, but Pierce staked his reputation on his former player.


“As soon as [Jack Jones] hit that wire, and I saw it come across, I ran right upstairs to our interim GM Champ Kelly and said ‘Champ, he can help us,” said Pierce. “He said ‘Oh, AP, I don’t know, he got a lot of baggage.’ I go ‘I know, trust me, I’ve been there for all of them.’ Then I went to Mark Davis ‘I don’t know, AP, ahh. Right now you want to do that?'”

Pierce said he wouldn’t let it go and soon he was insisting the team make this happen. “I said, ‘you know what, I believe in him so much, if we eff this up, get rid of both of us at the end of the season. Because I know what I’m getting with Jack Jones.”

Jones has a coach in Pierce who believes in him. Something we all need at one point or another. Or perhaps more than one point. And Jones, at least over the final seven weeks of the season, justified his coach’s belief in him.

By Week 14, Pierce had had it with Marcus Peters dogging it and giving poor effort on tackling and he yanked him in favor of Jones. And Jones immediately paid dividends with a pick six and another one the following week.

He fit right in with the energy Pierce was trying to get from his group. Or as Pierce put it “Our swag level went out the roof when we put him in our secondary.”

As if now, Jones is the favorite to be the outside starter entering his third season. And Pierce enters his first season as the full time head coach. The gambit paid off for both of them.

Story originally appeared on Raiders Wire