NFL: New England Patriots at Las Vegas Raiders

The Las Vegas Raiders stole the show not long after the NFL trade deadline had passed, as late in the night on Oct. 31, Raiders owner Mark Davis fired both head coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler.

It's interesting that this move came at the NFL trade deadline. "Explains why they ghosted us," one team told CBS Sports HQ Senior NFL Insider Josina Anderson. "Nobody responded yesterday."

The longtime New England Patriots offensive coordinator went 9-16 during his time with Vegas, and was fired before the end of his second season for the second time in his NFL career. McDaniels was fired by the Denver Broncos in 2010 after an 11-17 start. 

With McDaniels out, the Raiders have named former linebackers coach Antonio Pierce as their interim head coach. Who is Pierce? Let's take a look.

The Long Beach native just turned 45 years old last Thursday, and has served as the Raiders linebackers coach for one and a half seasons. Pierce actually had a successful NFL playing career of his own, despite going undrafted in 2001 out of the University of Arizona.

The former linebacker got his first shot in the NFL with Washington, and played in all 16 games in his rookie campaign. His breakout came in 2004, when Pierce recorded 114 combined tackles, one sack, five passes defensed and two interceptions. After that season, he signed with the New York Giants, where he became the captain of a Super Bowl defense.

In his second season with New York, Pierce recorded a career-high 139 combined tackles and made his first Pro Bowl. The next season, Pierce crossed the 100-tackle mark for the fourth consecutive year, while the Giants defeated Tom Brady and the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII despite being double-digit underdogs.

Pierce retired in 2010, and began his coaching career in 2014 at Long Beach Poly high school. After several seasons, he was hired by his former rival, Arizona State, as its linebackers coach. He wore several hats at ASU, among them being associate head coach and defensive coordinator. In 2022, the Raiders brought Pierce on board -- his first NFL job. 

Now, Pierce is presented with a huge opportunity to show the NFL world what he can do as a lead man. What's incredible about the beginning of this story is that Pierce gets to kick off his head coaching career against his former team, as the Raiders host the Giants this Sunday.