Las Vegas Raiders head coach Antonio Pierce is one of the rare cases of an interim head coach showing he has the chops for the permanent job. The former New York Giant galvanized the locker room, becoming the permanent Raiders coach after leading them to a 5-4 record at the end of last season.

Now, Pierce will be supported by one of his former coaches as he assembles his new staff. Former Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis sounded off about the perks of his new assistant gig with the Raiders, via’s Grant Gordon.

“I think just the opportunity to really assist AP,” Lewis said. “From the time that I first met him and had the opportunity to coach him, and then the opportunity to kind of reunite again later on at Arizona State — so kind of was in a similar role at one point there with him there as well, being in support of him, I just have been really impressed all the time with him. Back to 2002 with the now-Commanders, I guess. So, it's just this opportunity.”

Lewis has been coaching in college and the pros since 1981 and has come across players with varying egos and personalities. Pierce, he says, is as pure as they come.

“He's not stuck on himself, that way,” Lewis said. “He wants to hear other people's points of view, and so forth, that way. And that's good, but he has a great direction, himself, as a leader. He takes responsibility for providing the direction and reinforcing it every day.”

Will Lewis and Pierce take the Raiders to new heights?

Lewis and Pierce pair experience and youthful passion for the Raiders

Former NFL head coach Marvin Lewis looks on from the Arizona State Sun Devils sideline during a game against the Washington State Cougars in the second at Gesa Field at Martin Stadium. Washington State won 28-18.
© James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

While Pierce showed that he commands the necessary respect to lead an NFL locker room, he must show that he can do it long-term. This is where Lewis’s experience will be invaluable, as he’s seen countless highs and lows throughout his extensive coaching career, especially during his 16-year stint with the Bengals.

While Lewis hasn’t specified his exact role as assistant head coach, he made it clear that he’s there for whatever the staff needs.

“I'm here to support [the coaches] in anything I can do that way, as well as the squad, the players,” Lewis said. “That's a thing that's important to me. I try to keep things leveled off for them as much as I can.”

Additionally, former Miami Dolphins coach Joe Philbin will be Pierce’s senior offensive assistant, via FOX Sports. Philbin went 24-28 in the Sunshine State, while also sporting a stint as the Green Bay Packers’ offensive coordinator from 2007-2011.

With Lewis and Philbin knowing the defensive and offensive sides of the ball, respectively, Pierce has his bases covered. The former linebacker may lean on Philbin more strategy-wise, as he has less expertise on offense.

If Pierce can lead the Raiders to a winning record with a mixture of Gardner Minshew and Aidan O’Connell at quarterback, he may be up for Coach of the Year once the season finishes.