The Las Vegas Raiders' search for a new head coach is over. In the end, though, it might not have been much of a search at all, as they promote the man whom so many wanted to get the job in the first place.

“Raiders are working to finalize a deal to hire Antonio Pierce as their head coach, per sources,” ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Friday. “Raiders made Pierce their interim HC on Halloween night and now are closing in on making it a full-time job. Players who campaigned for Pierce soon are expected to be happy.”

This decision always seemed inevitable for owner Mark Davis, especially after Josina Anderson of CBS Sports reported that Pierce's agent was present in the team's facility, about an hour before the big news broke. Even though the Super Bowl 42 champion interviewed with other teams, Vegas was considered the perfect fit. Just ask the players.

Raiders' Antonio Pierce found success in a tough situation

Raiders head coach Antonio Pierce smiling ear to ear

Star pass rusher Maxx Crosby was arguably the most vocal on the roster in his support of Antonio Pierce, which left many pondering his potential response if the former linebacker had not been awarded the position. Living in fear of a locker room revolt is not the way to run a franchise, but one also cannot underestimate the value of entering a new season with high morale.

Besides, it's not as if Pierce only won a popularity contest. He earned the respect of the team and fans alike by getting better results on the field. Vegas went 5-4 in his interim tenure, making significant strides on defense and pulling off an upset victory versus the reigning champion Kansas City Chiefs on Christmas Day.

Simply put, the Raiders looked like a competent football team under Pierce's rule. Competency and good vibes can't be taken for granted and are especially crucial for an organization that has been confused for a circus too often in recent years.

But Mark Davis is not wearing a top hat at this moment, and there are no elephants parading through Allegiant Stadium. Although wins will have to follow this highly-anticipated hiring, Antonio Pierce is giving Raiders Nation reason to be excited about September's opening kickoff. And that matters a great deal.