When asked if he “deserves” to be the head coach of the Raiders, Antonio Pierce provides the ideal response.

The work interim coach Antonio Pierce has done in replacing fired head coach Josh McDaniels this season has earned him a permanent spot, if supporters of the Las Vegas Raiders had their way.

As Pierce jogged off the field and toward the locker room in Week 18, the Allegiant Stadium crowd showered him with a “AP” chant following Las Vegas’s 27—14 victory over the Denver Broncos.

But what is Pierce’s opinion?

We asked the Raiders coach if he thought he deserved the position during his Monday end-of-season press conference. Pierce responded to Levi Edwards on X, the former Twitter, by saying that he “would never use the word ‘deserve,'” which was the ideal response.

“I hope I have earned it,” Pierce declared with assurance.

Pierce has accomplished just that, based on how the Raiders concluded the season—winning three of their final four games.

The Raiders faced a similar situation just two years prior after firing Jon Gruden in the middle of the season and having Rich Bisaccia, their interim coach, lead the team to the playoffs. Nevertheless, Las Vegas went with McDaniels, the shiny toy, even though the players overwhelmingly supported Bisaccia.

Players for the Raiders, Davante Adams and Maxx Crosby, have expressed their feelings about Pierce. But there are also bright toys up for grabs, like Jim Harbaugh of Michigan.

Pierce deserves the position. But will that be how the Raiders interpret it?

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