Antonio Pierce might be the thing to make this Chiefs-Raiders rivalry interesting again

Antonio Pierce also needs to learn to watch what he says now that he's a head coach after he appeared to encourage injury

Las Vegas Raiders v Kansas City Chiefs
Las Vegas Raiders v Kansas City Chiefs / Kirby Lee/GettyImages

Football is a violent sport. Always has been. Always will be. And that means players are hurt regularly. It just comes with the territory. But one major no-no: causing injury on purpose. It seems to be common sense—unless you're the Las Vegas Raiders' new head coach Antonio Pierce.

Pierce sat down on a podcast with one of his star defensive players, Maxx Crosby, and together they discussed how to best defeat division rival Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. Pierce compared Mahomes to Michael Jordan (duh), but not in a good way. He referenced how Jordan was roughed up by the Detroit Pistons during the early part of his career.

The comparison alone should have raised some eyebrows about what Pierce was getting at. But then he came right out and said what he meant: "We gotta knock off the head of the snake. Fifteen." Yikes.

Antonio Pierce also needs to learn to watch what he says now that he's a head coach after he appeared to encourage injury

If that phrase sounds familiar, its because its been said before in some pretty gruesome NFL contexts. Bounty-gate ring leader Gregg Williams famously said, "Kill the head, the body will die."

It doesn't take much reading between the lines to see what Pierce is implying. Sometimes it does seem like the only way to beat him is to hurt him. But, if you come at the king you best not miss.

Nonetheless, an NFL head coach publicly suggesting that his team try and hurt the other team's quarterback is never a good look. Surprisingly the NFL has stayed silent so far. We'll see if that continues, or if there is at least a warning issued.

I will say that I do appreciate Pierce's willingness to fire up an old rivalry that for years has been pretty lopsided. On the same podcast he mentioned how he fired up his team before the Christmas Day matchup against the Chiefs by telling them to "hate red". It kind of reminds me of how Marty Schottenheimer famously hated the Raiders.

Unfortunately for Pierce the tactic seemed to backfire. The Raiders may have won the battle but they ultimately lost the war. Head coach Andy Reid credits the Christmas Day loss as being the catalyst that eventually got Kansas City to the Super Bowl that happened to be in the Raiders own stadium. Game. Set. Match.

Pierce claims he has the blueprint to beating Mahomes now. And as long as he's there, the Raiders will be enforcing the "Mahomes rules". Best of luck to the new guy. I have a hunch that Patrick Mahomes the Chiefs are going to be chomping at the bit to shred the Raiders next year.

As long as Pierce doesn't go so far as to start up his own Patrick Mahomes bounty-gate, I'll be happy to see this division rivalry start to heat up again. Its been too long.