“Raiders Way Wouldn’t Work”: Shannon Sharpe Endorses Antonio Pierce’s Methods After Michael Lombardi’s Controversial Jab

Published 03/01/2024, 1:24 PM EST

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Three-time Super Bowl winner, Michael Lombardi, has kicked the hornet’s nest with his comments regarding the new head coach at the Las Vegas Raiders. And he now faces criticism from 3X Super Bowl winner Shannon Sharpe!

Sharpe, joined by former WR Chad Johnson on his podcast ‘Nightcap’, did not let Lombardi’s comments pass by. “I am old enough to remember the Raiders way and the Raiders way wouldn’t work in today’s game! Because the Raiders’ way was party all night, do what the hell you wanted to do. Just show up to the game and knock the hell out of the quarterback.”

“The real Raiders way would not work in today’s game,” he said. On the podcast, Sharpe and Chad ‘Ochocinco’ Johnson discussed how Michael Lombardi’s old Raiders’ way would not resonate with anybody in the locker room because it was outdated. After all, Lombardi was with the Raiders from 1998 to 2007.


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The duo might be correct in their assessment since the rules have changed a lot in the time that Lombardi left the Raiders. And Pierce does have the confidence of the locker room, which has been displayed on several occasions. But what exactly did Lombardi say that forced this reaction out of Sharpe?

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Michael Lombardi, the Raiders’ general manager 17 years ago, had some strong words for Pierce, who took over the team on an interim basis in late October. He joined the franchise as a linebackers coach in 2022. “It’s so comical. Because he’s from Compton, he thinks he knows the Raider Way. It’s a joke,” claimed Lombardi. “The Raider Way isn’t a word. It’s about, ‘this is the prototype of the player we want at this position. This is the prototype of the player we want at that position…’ That’s the Raider Way.”

Lombardi further stated that the new HC did not understand the protocols and specifics of each position. However, Pierce has received support after this criticism.

The support behind the new head coach

After Josh McDaniels, the previous HC, lost the locker room, the players came in support of the interim HC Pierce. After the season, the Raiders’ superstar Maxx Crosby threatened a trade if Pierce were to be replaced by anyone else. The team was looking at Jim Harbaugh as a potential new HC.


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Now, with Pierce firmly in a position to lead the Raiders, Johnson’s analysis of the entire ordeal sums it up perfectly. The former 3X Pro Bowler Johnson said, “Michael Lombardi’s way wouldn’t resonate with nobody in that locker room.”

Pierce led the team to 5-4. They beat all three AFC West teams and also gave the Kansas City Chiefs, their final defeat of the season on Christmas Day.


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Do you think Michael Lombardi is correct in calling out Antonio Pierce? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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Written by:

Utkarsh Tiwari


One take at a time

Utkarsh Tiwari is an NFL writer at EssentiallySports. As a coalesce of a law graduate and football enthusiast, he takes pride in reporting Sunday live games along with post-match analysis and legal accuracy. This enthusiasm has made Utkarsh our ‘go-to guy’ for throwback pieces and listicles when it comes to any game, especially of the Kansas City Chiefs.
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Edited by:

Garima Yadav