The NFL trade deadline on Tuesday ended up being a crazy day for the Raiders, but not for the reason most people were expecting. The team didn't make any trades, but owner Mark Davis did make the decision to in a move that went down at 10 p.m. PT on Tuesday (1 a.m. ET Wednesday).
Davis didn't have much to say about the firings right after they happened, but he did eventually speak to multiple reporters on Wednesday night.
Here's a look at what the Raiders owner had to say:The duo was let go because the Raiders were going in the 'wrong direction.' For Davis, the decision to fire McDaniels and Ziegler essentially came down to one thing: He didn't like the direction the team was headed. "It just seemed we were going in the wrong direction," Davis told ESPN. "So, with the trade deadline, I just felt it was time to make a change, time to make a move." Davis was not impressed with the offense. Following their loss to the Lions on Monday night, the Raiders offense ranked 29th in the NFL in points scored and dead last in rushing yards per game. The offense had been struggling for most of the season and Davis definitely noticed, "It just didn't seem like it was jelling," Davis told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "And as you watched it, it just seemed like it was very important that we made a change." With McDaniels out, the Raiders have already made some wholesale changes on the offense. For one, they Mick Lombardi. Also, Jimmy Garoppolo will be headed to the with Aidan O'Connell set to start against the Giants. Davis seems to be hoping for a spark. Firing a coach in the middle of the season is always a risk, but it can pay off. Sometimes, teams will play better after a firing and that's what Davis is hoping get here, "What I thought was, let's try to figure out a way to fix this and see what we can do," Davis said. "We still have a shot." Davis is clearly hoping that lightning will strike twice for his team. After Jon Gruden resigned in October 2021, interim coach Rich Bisaccia led them to the playoffs by leading the team to a 7-5 record over their final 12 games. The explanation for giving the interim job to Antonio Pierce. The Raiders interim coach has almost zero NFL coaching experience. He had never even been on an NFL coaching staff until last year, although he does have nine years of playing experience. Davis thinks Pierce is the perfect guy for the job. "I got the feeling he was the right guy at the right time," Davis said. "Someone who can lead and create and have the respect of the team. After talking to him, I was very confident he was the right choice." Pierce was coaching high school football as recently as 2017 before taking a job at Arizona State. The 45-year-old then spent four seasons at ASU (2021) before joining the Raiders' staff as a linebackers coach in 2022.
Pierce spent five of his nine seasons with the Giants, and coincidentally, that's the team he'll be facing in