Antonio Pierce
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Antonio Pierce Focused On Raiders VS Giants on Sunday

Antonio Pierce says rookie Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Aidan O’Connell ‘gives us the best chance’ over veteran Jimmy Garoppolo.

The Raiders linebackers coach turned interim head coach made the decision to bench Garoppolo shortly after being hired.

In a flash, the pillars of the Raiders organization were changed following the midweek firing of head coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler. Assistant GM Champ Kelly will act as Ziegler’s interim replacement until the end of the season.


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Kelly says the rest of the players are excited about what’s to come with O’Connell under center.

“The guys are rallying behind him,” Kelly said. 

“They are excited to watch him get his opportunity. I was there as AP (Pierce) was speaking to the team and he had their eyes and there was an energy that was tangible in the room. There was a true excitement and guys are geared up to prepare for this weekend.”

Antonio Pierce finds himself up against his former team, the New York Giants, in his first game as head coach. He says his personality and ability to relate to the players should galvanize the team.

“We had a good team meeting this morning. We had a full house,” Antonio Pierce said. “I think I had everyone’s attention that had their eyes. I’m not a low-winded person. I won’t give you a dialogue or essay. I get right to the point, it’s black or white. You know how I feel when I walk out the door.”


Read: Raiders Make The Shocking Move To Fire Head Coach Josh McDaniels


“I’ve been around these guys for two years now as a linebackers coach. I made my presence known in the linebacker room, defensive line room, quarterback room and the running back room. I’m a former player; I touch football players. I can relate to them. I’ve done the same things they’ve done. I’ve walked the same paths they walked. I felt the same pain they felt.

“So, there’s nothing or any emotional ride or rollercoaster they’ve gone through this year or the two years I’ve been with them, that I haven’t felt. My personality will come out and reflect on this team. Hopefully we see that on Sunday.”

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