Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis knew he had to make a change after watching his team flounder for the second consecutive regular season.
Davis hired Dave Ziegler and Josh McDaniels as the Raiders’ general manager and head coach, respectively, hoping to emulate the run of success they had with the New England Patriots. However, the pairing failed to build any sort of chemistry and continuity on the field, and Davis fired them midway through the 2023 season.
Las Vegas elevated Champ Kelly and Antonio Pierce to fill in as interim general manager and head coach, respectively, and the two were able to help the organization turn things around in the second half of the regular season. The Raiders went 5-4, giving fans something to cheer about despite missing the postseason for the second consecutive year.
Davis decided to hire Pierce as the team’s head coach but went with former Los Angeles Chargers general manager Tom Telesco to fill the same job in Las Vegas. While Kelly didn’t get the general manager position, Davis is hoping he stays on in his assistant GM role via Paul Gutierrez of ESPN:
#Raiders owner Mark Davis says Champ Kelly remains with the organization as assistant GM and said he “hopes” Kelly stays: “I think he brings a lot to this organization. I have a lot of respect for him and what he was able to do.”
— Paul Gutierrez (@PGutierrezESPN) January 24, 2024
It seemed like Kelly was a shoo-in to land the GM job with the Raiders because he was involved in their head coaching discussions, but it seems that Telesco was able to convince Davis to give him the role instead. However, there doesn’t seem to be any hard feelings on Kelly’s side as he was present at Telesco and Pierce’s introductory press conference.
There’s always the possibility that Kelly can leave for a GM role elsewhere, but so far he has yet to interview with other teams. For the time being, Davis will be able to keep Kelly in the Las Vegas organization and lean on him to help rebuild the roster.
Tom Coughlin working with Antonio Pierce to fill out Raiders coaching staff
With Pierce set to become the franchise’s 23rd head coach, the next task is for him to fill out the remainder of his coaching staff. Pierce’s former New York Giants head coach, Tom Coughlin, advised Pierce throughout the regular season and is now helping him find qualified candidates for his staff.