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Mark Davis may have found his ‘yin and yang’ pairing in Antonio Pierce and Tom Telesco

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By: Ray Aspuria

Time will tell, but it appears Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis, center, found his yin and yang balance in general manager Tom Telesco, left, and head coach Antonio Pierce, right. | Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Las Vegas Raiders head coach speaks highly of general manager’s ability

Four free agents brought in, four in-house options, re-upped, Tom Telesco and Antonio Pierce are well on their way to building a Las Vegas Raiders roster that reflects what the coaching staff wants.

While the duo has made moves, the partnership between the general manager and the head coach, respectively, is very much in its infancy. According to Pierce, the early returns on the new Silver & Black tag team are fruitful.

“We’re only probably two months into this bad boy together, learn each other’s mannerisms, talk, our reasons why, his reasons why, his philosophy, his big picture, my big picture, probably meshing that together, but being important is doing the right thing and not rushing to a decision,” Pierce said at the AFC coaches’ breakfast at the NFL Owner’s meeting in Orlando on Monday. “ Being aggressive? I mean, I’m always going to be aggressive. I want to win. That’s what is in my nature. It’s good to have a gentleman like Tom Telesco to calm me down, but at the end of the day I know it’s a production-based business and I’m not trying to wait two or three years to win.”

Las Vegas, particularly owner Mark Davis, has potentially struck the balance he wants from the GM/head coach pairing in Telesco and Pierce.

“He’s my balance. It’s yin and yang,” Pierce said of Telesco.

Pierce expanded on the balance the two are striking this offseason along with the pairing’s relationship with Davis.

“Yeah, the Mark Davis thing is cool, man. We have a really good relationship, you got to be around it to see it and understand it, Telesco as well, Pierce began. “Me getting to know him, understand his process, his why. But I think when you put us all together, I mean, because you know how Mark is, kind of know how AP is, and then you got Telesco, it’s a hell of a mix.

“I’ll tell you what, different personalities, but there’s one goal, and one vision in mind. And that’s to put the best product on the field and represent the Raiders the right way. And I think to Telesco, through his background understands how that process is, and he’s understanding more and more what it’s like to be a Raider, especially with AP.”

Whereas Pierce is a go-getter and wants to fix things as quickly as possible, Telesco is the collected personnel man who views the entire landscape rather than getting tunnel vision that can camouflage potential pitfalls. That wasn’t the case with the previous regime the where head coach seemed to be the final say and the general manager relenting.

That doesn’t seem to be the case in Las Vegas anymore.

Pierce remains true to himself and the aggressive “young bull” as he described himself. Telesco, though, is true to himself also by being patience to provide a Silver & Black equilibrium. Will it always be that way? There will likely come contentious talks between the Raiders GM and head coach — especially in late April when the draft commences. But Pierce is seeing the light in terms of inaction being an action in its own right.

“Yeah, I think initially I’m always going to be like, ‘I want to get it done now.’ Again, I’ve always said when you’re in this position I’m racing time, right? And that doesn’t stop now. You want to win now, you want to put the best team together now, but you also understand it’s a process. It’s a process, and that’s great question about the offensive line, because that’s something that we still need to fill there, at that position. And there’s 1,000 ways to do it, right? It’s not always through free agency. There’s a draft, and then there’s other ways.”

As free agency continues — quality talent is still available to sign with any team — and the 2024 NFL Draft April 25-27, we’ll get more insight on how the Raiders continue to craft a competitive roster, the dynamic between Telesco and Pierce, and the plan Las Vegas has to improve upon an 8-9 2023 campaign (Pierce was at the helm as interim boss and went 5-4 from Week 9 and onward).

Telesco is right there are plenty of avenues ahead for he and Pierce to create a competitive Raiders roster. Pierce is going to lean heavily on his general manager when Las Vegas is on the clock, and sadly, the bar is set quite low for Telesco.

Originally posted on Silver And Black Pride