In a city where the lights are bright and the town is known for gambling, new Raiders' head coach Antonio Pierce is making the biggest bet on offensive guru Kliff Kingsbury.
According to ESPN, Pierce has found his new offensive coordinator in the former Arizona Cardinals head coach. Kingsbury has interviewed with Pierce and is expected to be offered the job on Friday and sign a contract with Las Vegas.
In a city known for lots of money being gambled on the roll of the dice or the flip of a card, the Raiders are betting heavily that the former Arizona Cardinals head coach will turn the anemic Raiders offense into a juggernaut. The first thing that Kingsbury has to do is to decide who his starting quarterback will be.
As for the Raiders' offense, Vegas finished with the sixth-worst unit in yards per game (289.5), and 10th-worst in points per game (19.5). They were the 27th ranked offense overall. Mediocrity was spread throughout the offense and they could not score points. That led to Josh McDaniels' dismissal and the hiring of Pierce as the interim head coach. Pierce was given the job permanently after the season.
The Raiders are trying to build upon a strong finish from last season when they went 5-4 under Pierce. McDaniels was just 9-21 in a season-and-a-half in Vegas.
The 44-year old Kingsbury served as an offensive analyst with Lincoln Riley at the University of Southern California and had the opportunity to work with Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams. Despite Williams having a down year, as compared to his 2022 season, the USC offense was extremely potent.
Kingsbury also served as offensive coordinator at Texas A&M during the season that Johnny Manziel won the Heisman. Kingsbury also coached Kansas City Chiefs phenom and two-time Super Bowl Champion, Patrick Mahomes when he was the head coach at Texas Tech.
It has been widely reported that Kingsbury also interviewed with the Chicago Bears, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Philadelphia Eagles for their then-vacant offensive coordinator positions. Kingsbury was relieved of his duties as the Cardinals head coach last January after they finished in last place in the NFC West with a 4-13 record.
During his four years in Arizona, Kingsbury led the team to a 28-37-1 with his best season coming in 2021 as the Cardinals went 11-6 and made it to the NFC wild-card round, according to the New York Post.
Further, Raiders owner Mark Davis told The Athletic last week that former Cincinnati head coach Marvin Lewis would be joining Pierce's staff as the Assistant Head Coach. Lewis had previously served in an advisory capacity, but will now officially be a member of Pierce's staff.
"He brings experience and a tempered personality, which is a good balance for Antonio,” Raiders owner Mark Davis said of Marvin Lewis. “He brings a lot. You can’t learn enough from people when you’re first starting off doing something, There are so many things that hit you. As I tell people, every day I wake up and there is a WTF moment. Whether it’s about the football field, or the offense or this or that … it’s not like it looks on video games.”"- Raiders' owner Mark Davis