Raiders interim coach Antonio Pierce Nov 26, 2023; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders interim coach Antonio Pierce watches the game against the Kansas City Chiefs in the first half at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It doesn’t need to be said.

We now know how the Las Vegas Raiders feel about Josh McDaniels. And the team’s performance since McDaniels’ departure speaks to that. Undoubtedly, the Raiders, playing with a rookie fourth-round pick under center, aren’t the most talented team in the National Football League. However, they’re playing hard for Antonio Pierce, as the interim head coach seems to have resonated with those in the locker room.

And it’s not just Pierce, either. Players seem to feel the same way about interim general manager Champ Kelly.

Just ask Maxx Crosby. And so, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport did on The Insiders (NFL+).

“I’ve been very honest and very open about it,” Crosby said when asked about the prospect of Kelly and Pierce having their interim tags removed. “I love those guys, (Antonio Pierce) and Champ. I’ve been close with him ever since they’ve been here, you know, before they got the jobs now. Selfishly, I want them to continue to be the head coach and GM. I’ve been very honest with them. I told Mark (Davis) the same thing.

“For me, I take it as an extra motivation to help this team win so they can be in the position they’re in now for the long term. For me, I’ve had a lot of head coaches and a lot of change in my five years. And I just want stability and honesty. And I feel like AP and Champ are everything that represents us and comes with that. Those guys are super honest. They are straightforward. And I think they’re doing an incredible job. Obviously, they didn’t have any time to prepare for this, but they’ve come in and didn’t blink. All the guys are buying in, and you see our team playing these last four games; even though we’re 2-2, we’ve made incredible improvements, and we’re looking forward to finishing the season strong.”

Raiders players like Crosby are confident in the current leadership team and trust the team’s direction under Pierce and Kelly.

[Ian Rapoport]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.