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Antonio Pierce looks back at what he's learned over interim tenure

Donning a black Raiders hoodie, two diamond stud earrings and Nike Terminator Low sneakers, Interim Head Coach Antonio Pierce strolled up to the podium Monday morning to address the media for the last time in the 2023-24 season.

Pierce, who assumed the interim position on November 1, helped lead the Raiders to a 5-4 run to end the season, while completing a three game sweep of the AFC West during his tenure.

Following the team's season finale Sunday, a plethora of Raiders legends – including Charles Woodson, Richard Seymour, Marcus Allen, Mike Haynes, Jim Otto and Ted Hendricks – were seen in the locker room congratulating player on the 27-14 win against the Denver Broncos. 

Pierce was clear on how special the moment was to him.

"I hope those guys really understand what it means to be surrounded in the presence of those individuals who have done it, who put on a uniform, who have played at a high level, performed," he said. "They're winners. And more importantly, they've done well post-football as you watch them.

"I think it's just great when you can have those kinds of examples around you, especially to feel that environment. It was good for those players, for those guys that have been here, done it, to see what we're building, and what we're doing here as well."

Following the win against the Broncos, several players commended Pierce on his ability to steer the ship when his time came. Pierce believes there were many great coaches in the locker room that could have successful fulfilled the role, but grateful he was chosen to led the way.

The former NFL linebacker said the experience gained this season has been invaluable. His main emphasis was always on trying to do the right thing, even if done by unconventional methods.

"Every team is different, every player is different. Every coaching staff is different. So, you do what works," said Pierce. "Whatever works and what's going to be right, that's what we're going to do. We're going to do what's right. ... I think what we've proven here is that you can be yourself, you can do things a certain way, and they can work.

"You don't have to be the cookie cutter, and I'm not going to be. If I'm staying here, that's not going to be me. I don't want our players or our staff to be like that. That's what brings the building the life. That's what allows us to come to work today every day with a smile and ready to work."

As the Silver and Black begin to look toward preparations for the 2024 season, they will undoubtedly be thorough in their general manager and head coach search, with a lot of front office questions to be answered in the coming weeks.

View the best photos from the Raiders' Week 18 matchup against the Denver Broncos at Allegiant Stadium.

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