Facebook Pixel

    NFL Coaching News and Rumors: Inside Raiders’ Antonio Pierce Decision, Eagles Keeping Nick Sirianni, and More

    With a ton of moves around the coaching cycle, here's the latest news and rumors from around the NFL, including an inside look at both the Eagles and Raiders.

    Published on

    Every year during NFL head coaching and offensive or defensive coordinator searches, there seems to be a theme in regards to the type of coach teams target and the offensive system that they came from.

    In this year’s searches, make no mistake about it — coaches who work for teams that run a West Coast offense are in high demand. And teams are specifically targeting those assistants from the Sean McVay or Kyle Shanahan coaching tree.

    Latest NFL News and Rumors: Teams Targeting West Coast Offenses

    For head coaching interviews, Brian Callahan (Cincinnati Bengals, OC), Bobby Slowik (Houston Texans, OC), and Frank Smith (Miami Dolphins, OC) are getting a lot of interest from teams with head coach openings.

    As for offensive coordinator openings, Zac Robinson (Los Angeles Rams, QBs/passing game coordinator), Jerrod Johnson (Houston Texans, QBs), and Klint Kubiak (San Francisco 49ers, assistant QBs) are among the group of assistant coaches receiving interest for play-caller jobs.

    The Seattle Seahawks’ Shane Waldron has received plenty of interest to interview for other coordinator jobs as well and looks set to become the Chicago Bears’ next OC.

    So, why are teams targeting so many of these coaches?

    The West Coast offense, which has been used for several decades, has seen a resurgence in popularity over the past decade due to the development of quarterbacks and the impressive receiving numbers from wide receivers and tight ends. And the use of pre-snap motion and shifting is a big part of how those players are freed up to make plays.

    But when it comes to developing QBs, look no further than Brock Purdy, C.J. Stroud, and Jordan Love from this past season.

    The system demands quick processing and precise accuracy for it to work properly. In fact, a coaching source with a team that runs the system said that his offensive coordinator mentioned both of those traits as being the most important (accuracy and quick processing) in the team’s first coaching meeting when they were all hired.

    With Purdy, Love, and Stroud, one of the first things you see when breaking down their game is their ability to process information quickly, which was very evident from all three signal-callers this season.

    The belief in coaching circles is that the faster the ball gets out of the quarterback’s hands, the harder it is for the defense to set up and make a play on the ball.

    Inside Raiders’ Decision To Stick With Antonio Pierce

    While rumors persisted that the Las Vegas Raiders had interest in Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh and some other top names to fill their head coaching vacancy, owner Mark Davis chose to promote interim head coach Antonio Pierce instead to the permanent job last week.

    A league source said while Davis was quite aware of how much the players lobbied for Pierce (especially from the defensive side of the ball), it was Pierce’s ability to get the team motivated to win each week and the buy-in from the players overall that did it for him.

    Another source said that internally from the front office standpoint, it was noticeable how some players improved after the team moved on from head coach Josh McDaniels.

    MORE: NFL Head Coach Predictions 2024

    There was no better example of that than from DE Malcolm Koonce, a third-round pick of the team in the 2021 NFL Draft. Koonce posted all eight of his sacks over the final nine games — all of which came after McDaniels left. He also saw a significant increase in playing time over the final half of the season.

    But it wasn’t just his sack numbers that were impressive. Pierce showed the ability to believe in his players from the very day he took over for McDaniels. One source said that they were “not uptight” anymore, and that showed during Pierce’s nine games at the helm.

    The Raiders finished out the season with a winning record (5-4) and were competing for an AFC Wild Card spot down the stretch.

    How Nick Sirianni Kept His Job in Philadelphia

    It appears that Philadelphia Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni will be staying on with the team going forward after all.

    Sirianni made the call to dismiss DC Sean Desai last week, a league source said, and that he’s been working on revamping his coaching staff overall since the team lost to the host Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first round of the playoffs.

    Desai had kept his title during the season but was reassigned by Sirianni with senior defensive assistant Matt Patricia taking over the play-calling during the final four regular-season games and the playoff matchup.

    Teams typically don’t make any announcements of their head coach retaining their job — save the Dallas Cowboys last week in saying Mike McCarthy will be staying on — but coaching sources from around the NFL and others with ties to some of the Eagles’ coaches say the team is operating as though Sirianni will be staying on for his fourth season with the team.

    Sirianni and chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie met last Friday, a league source confirmed, in which the former was expected to make his pitch on potential changes to his coaching staff along with ideas on how to improve productivity from both sides of the ball.

    Sirianni finished his first three seasons with an impressive 34-17 regular-season record. However, there were questions around the NFL after the team’s late-season collapse in terms of whether he would remain with the team going forward.

    Lurie, who is known for being forward-thinking when it comes to how an NFL offense should look, typically has been very supportive of his head coaches over the years. Yet, rumors persisted for the past few weeks that something might happen, though that’s not his way of doing things.

    Potential Buccaneers OC Replacement

    If OC Dave Canales gets a head coaching job elsewhere, his possible replacement is currently with the team, a league source said.

    Canales, who is in his first year calling plays with the Buccaneers, has done an outstanding job of helping develop QB Baker Mayfield. But the coach who works closely with him on a day-to-day basis is quarterbacks coach Thaddeus Lewis.

    Lewis, a former NFL journeyman QB, just completed his first season coaching quarterbacks and was the team’s assistant wide receivers coach the previous two seasons.

    Lewis is known in coaching circles for his attention to detail and smarts. He spent eight seasons in the NFL with nine different teams. It’s the experience of playing in different systems that has served him well.

    “I think it’s fantastic, because you get to see a lot of different philosophies, a lot of different offenses,” former Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians told the Tampa Bay Times during the team’s OTAs last May.

    “And that’s the best way to formulate your own. You find what you liked, and you put it all together. And he has the ability to take bits and pieces from everywhere he’s been and put it together and make it make sense.”

    KEEP READING: Falcons Head Coach News and Rumors — Bobby Slowik, Mike Vrabel, and Jim Harbaugh Add to an Already Long List

    While it may seem a little early in his coaching career to being a play-caller, keep in mind Houston Texans OC Bobby Slowik had never been a position coach previously in his career before the Texans hired him. The highest-ranked title in the NFL that he held previously was passing game coordinator with the San Francisco 49ers in 2022.

    While it’s certainly possible that head coach Todd Bowles looks for someone who has had experience calling plays should Canales leave, it’s not completely unprecedented to move someone up that quickly to a play-calling role.

    Want to predict the results of the 2023 NFL postseason with our FREE NFL Playoff Predictor? How about looking into in-depth breakdowns of team depth charts or the NFL playoff schedule? Pro Football Network has you covered with all that and more!

    Listen to the PFN Inside Access Podcast!

    Listen to the PFN Inside Access Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Fantasy Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms.  Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review!

    Related Articles