Davante Adams, Maxx Crosby support Antonio Pierce as Raiders coach

ByPaul Gutierrez ESPN logo
Friday, January 5, 2024

HENDERSON, Nev. -- Two of the Las Vegas Raiders' most high-profile players have come out in full support of Antonio Pierce having the interim tag removed from his coaching title by team owner Mark Davis.

One day after All-Pro receiver Davante Adams said Pierce had his "vote" to be coach in 2024 and "that's basically how the whole locker room feels," three-time Pro Bowl edge rusher Maxx Crosby said Pierce had his "100%" support as well.

"There's only 32 [NFL] head coaches in the whole world," Crosby said Thursday, "so you've got to find a leader of men. And when you've got one of them in the building currently, I don't know why you would let them go."

Crosby, who has a career-high 13.5 sacks, also stumped for Rich Bisaccia two years ago -- to no avail -- after he led the Raiders to a playoff berth as interim coach.

Since being drafted in the fourth round of the 2019 draft, Crosby and the Raiders are a combined 38-44 heading into Sunday's finale against the Denver Broncos and have had just one winning season -- 2021, when they made the playoffs with a 10-7 mark.

"I've made the playoffs one time in five years. It's bulls---," Crosby said. "And we've got to figure out what we're going to do moving forward. And I'm sick of change. I'm sick of losing. I just want stability and f---ing consistency, and that's all that matters to me. I want to win."

Pierce, who replaced the fired Josh McDaniels on Nov. 1, has guided the Raiders to a 4-4 mark, with big wins against the New York Giants (30-6), Los Angeles Chargers (63-21) and Kansas City Chiefs (20-14). There also have been confounding losses to the Minnesota Vikings (3-0) and Indianapolis Colts (23-20).

Since taking over the organization upon his father Al Davis' passing in October 2011, Mark Davis is on his eighth coach, including interims -- Hue Jackson, Dennis Allen, Tony Sparano, Jack Del Rio, Jon Gruden, Bisaccia, McDaniels and Pierce.

"I mean, he's come in and done a great job and he's continued to win us over," Adams said of Pierce. "It's not just the comfortable thing; I think having A.P. here will be good for this organization. He kind of embodies what it means to be a Raider and that mentality, that swag and all the things that he endorses is the things that I believe in.

"So it's easy for a guy like me, especially having dealt with him a little bit this year now and gotten to know him and see his evolution in front of the team and all those things, all the different fields of being a head coach. So, definitely rooting for him."