“He’s the right coach”: Jayden Daniels lavishes praise on Raiders HC Antonio Pierce

The Las Vegas Raiders have made waves by appointing Antonio Pierce as their new head coach, following the dismissal of Josh McDaniels. He has openly thrown his support behind Aidan O’Connell as the starting quarterback. However, rumors abound regarding a potential reunion with LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels, whom Pierce coached at Arizona State.

With the Raiders currently holding the 13th pick, the prospect of selecting Daniels seems ambitious without a significant trade-up. Daniels himself has expressed admiration for Pierce’s coaching style and wouldn’t shy away from the opportunity to play under him in the Raiders squad.

“[Antonio Pierce] just as a human being, he’s the right coach for [the Raiders]. You know, just him and the intensity that he brings. He challenges people. He was challenging me at 18. So I know if I was to go to the Raiders — I’m not saying I’m gonna go there or I wanna go there, I wanna go wherever my name is called — if I was to go to the Raiders, I know as soon as I step foot, he’s gonna challenge me,” Daniels said on a Sunday episode of the “Nightcap Show” with Shannon Sharpe and Chad Johnson.

Daniels drew interest from other teams, like the Washington Commanders, who recently hosted him for a pre-draft visit. Nevertheless, the Raiders could position themselves for a trade-up if the quarterback remains on the board past the early picks. The New England Patriots’ openness to trading the third overall pick could create an avenue for the Raiders, albeit at a considerable cost.

Meanwhile, Pierce’s leadership style and expectations have already reverberated through the Raiders’ locker room. He even sent a clear message to the team about his expectations heading to the next season.

Antonio Pierce sets firm expectations for Raiders in year 2

Antonio Pierce left no room for doubt regarding his expectations for the Raiders in his second year as their coach. The team witnessed a terrible season last year, which the HC doesn’t want to repeat in the upcoming season. He emphasized the importance of commitment and dedication, stressing that greatness requires consistent effort and a relentless pursuit of improvement.

The veteran acknowledges the voluntary nature of the offseason sessions, and wasted no time in setting the tone.

“First of all, I appreciate everybody being here. Totally voluntary, I get it. We’re always talking about it. We wanna be great. Gotta show the f— up every day. There’s a standard. There’s expectations and then there’s the Raider way. Get better. [Defensive] line, get better. Wide receiver corps, get better. [Quarterbacks], get better. Specialists, get better,” Pierce said via SI.com.

Pierce also called upon his players to exhibit unwavering fervor and commitment to the team’s cause.

“Show that passion and love for the game and for being a Raider,” he proclaimed.

Antonio Pierce
Antonio Pierce (Photo by Ian Maule/Getty Images)

The veteran also turned the spotlight inward, holding himself accountable for fostering the culture and direction of the team.

“The passion has to show up. If you don’t love this s—, shame on you,” Pierce said. “If you don’t love this, shame on you. … We’re fortunate to be in these seats, I’ve written my spot, we’re earning the right to keep going each and every day.”

In Antonio Pierce, the Raiders have found more than just a coach; they have found a mentor, a motivator, and a driving force behind their quest for greatness. The team now might be finding themselves galvanized by their leader’s vision, ready to embrace the challenges that lie ahead.


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Maliha is an insightful sports writer with over a year of experience focusing on the NFL. Initially venturing into both NFL and NBA coverage, her journey began without a particular affinity for American football. However, her passion for the sport blossomed as she started following football more. Now, a huge NFL fan, Maliha meticulously follows every development within the league. She always wants to ensure her analysis is comprehensive and up-to-date to fellow readers.


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