Raiders’ Maxx Crosby ‘fired up’ Antonio Pierce is team’s head coach


The Las Vegas Raiders made a change in the middle of the season, relieving Josh McDaniels of his head coaching duties and replacing him with Antonio Pierce for the remainder of the season.

Pierce was 5-4 as the team’s interim head coach as the Raiders finished the season 8-9, even as it seemed it was going to be a lost season. Pierce’s coaching philosophies rubbed off on some of the players, including defense end Maxx Crosby.

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Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby celebrates a sack against the Denver Broncos at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on Jan. 7, 2024. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

The three-time Pro Bowler told Fox News Digital he was “fired up” to have Pierce as his head coach.

“It’s tough when you get coaches from all different types of backgrounds,” Crosby said. “And when you get one that is a true leader, a man, a guy that’s unanimously respected throughout the locker room in the building, it’s not hard to show up to work and not have a good time. He talks about it all the time. This is a kid’s game being played by a bunch of grown men.”

RAIDERS’ MAXX CROSBY WOULD ‘RATHER PLAY FOOTBALL’ AMID PRO BOWL FORMAT CHANGE

Antonio Pierce named Raiders coach

Antonio Pierce is introduced as the head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders on Jan. 24, 2024. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

“Obviously, it’s very serious. You have to take your job extremely seriously. That doesn’t mean you don’t have fun. It doesn’t mean you don’t show up in the building with great energy and ready to have fun, to do your job at the highest level. He preaches that he wants everyone on the same type of energy and wavelength. And that’s the type of guys he’s bringing in and that’s the type of guys we already have. So, we’re just going to keep building and take this thing to the next level.”

Crosby, who talked to Fox News Digital on behalf of his partnership with Invisalign, said the team has to make finishing games a priority moving forward.

RAIDERS’ MAXX CROSBY WOULD ‘RATHER PLAY FOOTBALL’ AMID PRO BOWL FORMAT CHANGE

Five of the Raiders’ nine losses came by one touchdown or less. It’s those little things that will make the difference, especially as the Kansas City Chiefs are primed to own the AFC West for years.

“For us, there’s obviously things we have to address in free agency, in the draft,” he said. “But from what we have, we went 5-4. Every loss we have was very close. I think finishing games is super important; continuing to play our brand of football, the Raiders style of football. The bad boys – bring that back. And I feel we’ve started that. It’s just about going into this offseason, it’s about getting more guys that are on that type of time and energy.

Antonio Pierce fans

Las Vegas Raiders fans hold up a sign supporting interim head coach Antonio Pierce, using his nickname, “AP,” on Jan. 7, 2024, at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

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“I know I’m a ringleader when it comes to that. I want to have guys that are all on the same level. For me, I’m constantly pushing my teammates – just be yourself. That’s what AP pushes. That’s what I push. It’s just about 100% being yourself, being in truest form when you’re out there, playing on the field and not thinking, being hesitant. It’s about trusting your work and trusting your body, your techniques, all the work you put in the offseason and going and putting that on display on Sundays.”

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