Raiders’ Aidan O’Connell Doesn’t Hold Back On Antonio Pierce

Aidan O'Connell, Antonio Pierce, Las Vegas Raiders
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Add quarterback Aidan O’Connell to the ever-growing list of Las Vegas Raiders players who have publicly endorsed head coach Antonio Pierce.

The Raiders decided to retain Pierce as their head coach after he took over in an interim role midway through the 2023 campaign, and clearly, he has the full support of the locker room.

During the hiring process last month, edge rusher Maxx Crosby threatened to ask for a trade if Las Vegas didn’t keep Pierce. Superstar wide receiver Davante Adams also gave Pierce his vote of confidence, and running back Josh Jacobs said he would strongly consider returning to the Raiders in free agency if they hired Pierce in a full-time role.

Recently, wide out Jakobi Meyers gave Pierce his stamp of approval, too, and now, O’Connell has joined the fray.

When asked about Crosby’s potential trade demand in the event that Las Vegas chose a different coach, O’Connell said he fully understood.

“I think we were unanimous in feeling the same way,” O’Connell told Heavy Sports earlier this week. “I think most guys would echo what he was saying. A.P. came into a tough situation with not a lot of coaching experience and did a great job. The guys really believe. … We were in every game that he was coaching so we have confidence he’s the right coach for us.”

The Raiders were 3-5 when they fired Josh McDaniels and replaced him with Pierce at the end of October. They then proceeded to go 5-4 under Pierce, including a 63-point outburst in a blowout win over the Los Angeles Chargers and a victory over the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on Christmas.

Pierce committed to O’Connell as the team’s starting quarterback upon taking the reins as head coach, and O’Connell responded by throwing eight touchdowns and no interceptions over his last four games.

On the season overall, Aidan O’Connell threw for 2,218 yards, 12 touchdowns and seven picks.

We’ll see how the Raiders do in Antonio Pierce’s first full season at the helm in 2024.

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