Raiders’ Antonio Pierce Fires off Terse Message on Departed OC Kliff Kingsbury

The Raiders' Antonio Pierce does not have much to say about Kliff Kingsbury.

Getty The Raiders' Antonio Pierce does not have much to say about Kliff Kingsbury.

The Raiders‘ Antonio Pierce has a new offensive coordinator, the rather uninspiring choice of ex-Bears OC Luke Getsy, whose offense in Chicago was 18th in points and 20th in yardage. Those numbers are not great, but they’re up from Getsy’s first year as offensive coordinator, when the Bears were 23rd in points and 28th in yardage. It’s a disappointment, especially, after it appeared that the Raiders were on the brink of hiring Kliff Kingsbury to be the team’s new offensive coordinator late last week.

Kingsbury, though, pulled out of discussions with the Raiders last Friday, because, his agent told ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the team was unwilling to give Kingsbury a three-year contract. Kingsbury then reversed course and signed on to join the staff of new Commanders coach Dan Quinn in Washington.

Pierce, apparently, was not too fond of the way it all went down. As Las Vegas Journal-Review writer Vincent Bonsignore wrote on Twitter/X on Tuesday, “Just asked @Raiders coach Antonio Pierce if he can shed light on what happened with Kliff Kingsbury: ‘I don’t talk about guys that’s not Raiders.’”

Magic Johnson Lured Kliff Kingsbury Away

Still, the whole thing was a debacle for the Raiders, who wind up with their No. 2 choice to replace Bo Hardegree rather than the one the team had all but agreed to bring in. To be clear, Kingsbury is no shoo-in to be a success running an offensive unit, a job he has never held at the NFL level. He was the head coach for the Cardinals from 2019-2022, taking over a team that ranked dead last in the league in points and yardage.

With Kyler Murray under center, the Cardinals were a much-improved offense under Kingsbury, and were 11th in points and eighth in yardage in 2021. They slipped the following year, though, and Kingsbury was fired. He spent last season at USC as a consultant and worked with presumptive No. 1 pick Caleb Williams.

One thing that apparently did not help the Raiders’ pursuit of Kingsbury was the influence of Commanders part-owner Magic Johnson, who, according to reports, was instrumental in contacting and luring Kingsbury to Washington.

As Ian Rapoport of NFL media said, “To look at the flip that happened with Kliff Kingsbury, my understanding is, Magic Johnson, who is a limited partner with the Commanders, was actually the one to step in and kind of pull Kliff Kingsbury back and said, ‘You know what, if this deal with the Raiders isn’t perfect, maybe there’s a home for you in Washington.’”

Raiders’ Antonio Pierce Explains Luke Getsy Hiring

As for Getsy, the hope for Raiders fans is that the production he got from the Bears in his two seasons as coordinator was a reflection of the talent he had on hand, and not his abilities as a play designer and play caller. The Bears ran a run-heavy offense in his two seasons, a reflection of the talents (and the limitations) of young quarterback Justin Fields.

The Bears did beat the Raiders, 30-12, in Week 7 of the regular season, one of the team’s worst performances of the year. Undrafted free agent quarterback Tyson Bagent beat the Raiders with Fields out that week.

Tweeted Vic Tafur of The Athletic, “Antonio Pierce on new offensive coordinator Luke Getsy: ‘He whupped our ass when we played them (the Bears). Who was their QB? I don’t know. Who was their RB? I don’t know. But they still beat us pretty good.’”

Worth noting: The Raiders started Brian Hoyer in that game and committed three turnovers.

His time in Chicago doesn’t completely reflect Getsy’s history, though, which includes two stints with the Packers—one as the wide receivers coach, where he helped with the development of now-Raiders star Davante Adams, and another as the quarterbacks coach and offensive passing game coordinator working with Aaron Rodgers.

In his final season with the Packers, the team was eighth in yardage, fourth in passing touchdowns and first in fewest interceptions, a mark they held for back-to-back years with Getsy in that role. Perhaps he does not deserve all the credit for those numbers, but he also does not deserve all the blame from the Bears’ poor numbers.

Read More