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    Is Kliff Kingsbury Joining the Raiders? Antonio Pierce Will Reportedly Hire Next Offensive Coordinator

    Will Sin City see the Air Raid? Las Vegas Raiders head Antonio Pierce looks to have Kliff Kingsbury on his way to run his team's offense.

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    Antonio Pierce has visions of an “Air Raid” in Sin City, with his sights set on his first prominent Las Vegas Raiders hire. Per ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter on Thursday, the Raiders head coach is expected to hire former Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury.

    Kliff Kingsbury Expected To Return to NFL

    Kingsbury, once officially lured in, will end his brief absence from the NFL. He spent this past season working in an offensive analyst role with USC under Trojans head coach Lincoln Riley.

    That Trojans team started out with a top-10 ranking and chatter of witnessing quarterback Caleb Williams earn back-to-back Heisman Trophy wins. USC, though, fell out of the top 25 and went 8-5 overall.

    Before he dove back to the college game for the 2023 season, Kingsbury spent four seasons as the Cardinals’ head coach. He went 28-37-1 overall with Arizona, including taking the 2021 team to the playoffs with an 11-6 record. Yet, the Cardinals ultimately fired him following their 4-13 mark in 2022.

    Despite his record, Kingsbury is lauded as a quarterback guru and considered a prominent name in the Air Raid coaching tree.

    Kingsbury once coached and recruited a young Patrick Mahomes to Lubbock, Texas, and turned the future two-time Super Bowl-winning QB into a 5,000-yard passer.

    He also helped facilitate the move to draft 2018 Heisman winner Kyler Murray at No. 1 overall for the 2019 NFL Draft. Murray became a two-time Pro Bowler under Kingsbury before their relationship reportedly deteriorated.

    In half of Kingsbury’s four NFL seasons, he produced two Cardinals offenses that ranked in the top 10 for total yards (2020 and 2021).

    Kingsbury ran a shotgun-heavy scheme predicated on spreading out defenders and creating more man-to-man matchups — which proved to favor Mahomes when he suited up for the former Texas Tech head coach. Kingsbury brought shallow crossers and four-to-five wide receiver sets over to Arizona. Although, he implemented some read option looks to cater to a mobile QB like Murray.

    Regardless if Aidan O’Connell remains the starter or the Raiders draft a passer, fans of the Raiders are likely in for a more passing-centric and fast paced offense.

    Pierce, who shed the interim head coaching label after guiding the Raiders to a 5-4 record to end the year, happened to be near Kingsbury when the latter was with the Cardinals. Pierce was in Tempe on the Arizona State coaching staff.

    Turns out, however, that Kingsbury wasn’t the only college assistant in the fold for the Raiders’ OC gig. Multiple reports revealed UCLA head coach Chip Kelly interviewed with the Silver and Black — with NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport reporting Kelly had multiple meetings with the Raiders.

    Pierce Already at Work Filling First Raiders Staff

    Pierce has hit the ground running with compiling his first Silver and Black coaching staff.

    First, per former Fresno TV sports anchor George Takata on Jan. 24, he lured in former Carolina Panthers CB and recent cornerbacks coach of the New York Jets, Ricky Manning. Manning, a Fresno native who starred collegiately at UCLA, told Takata that the Raiders “wouldn’t let me leave the building.”

    Manning, however, wasn’t the only addition to the DBs coaching room. Former Pittsburgh Steelers safeties coach Gerald Alexander announced his move to Sin City by posting this GIF on the same day Manning was hired.

    Alexander, best known as “G.A.,” had a previous stop with the Miami Dolphins while working with former head coach Brian Flores.

    Before he jumped to the NFL, Alexander helped turn Camryn Bynum, Ashtyn Davis, Jaylinn Hawkins, and Elijah Hicks into future draft picks out of the University of California.

    KEEP READING: Raiders Choose Ex-Chargers GM Tom Telesco

    As the 2023 NFL season comes to a close, the 2024 NFL Draft is on the horizon. Pro Football Network has you covered with everything from team draft needs to the Top 100 prospects available. Plus, fire up PFN’s Mock Draft Simulator to put yourself in the general manager’s seat and make all the calls!

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