Facing Patrick Mahomes, Antonio Pierce said the quiet part out loud

There is usually a difference between the things players and coaches will say among themselves and the things they will say in public. In a recent appearance on Maxx Crosby's podcast, new Raiders coach Antonio Pierce swung a sledgehammer at that wall.

Specifically, Pearce said the quiet part out loud regarding the inherently violent realities of football. However, in the post-#Bountygate NFL, some things aren't supposed to be spoken into the microphone.

Pierce spoke openly about playing with quarterback Patrick Mahomes the same way the Pistons used to play with Michael Jordan, with relentless, gratuitous physicality. Pierce also said this: “We have to cut off the head of the snake. Fifteen.”

This is a risky comment from Pierce, or from any player or coach in the NFL. Back in 2004, five years before Congress forced the NFL to disclose head trauma, then-Browns player Gerard Warren said this about then-Steelers rookie quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, in the days before Cleveland-Pittsburgh game: “One rule they used to tell me: The head was killed and the body was dead“.

The NFL saw the comment and issued a warning to the Browns.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said: “We have informed the team, including Gerard Warren, that if a player made a blatant foul after making such a statement, it could be a critical factor supporting a suspension of the player, depending on the entire set of circumstances.” he told ESPN.com at the time.

In 2012, after the NFL singled out the Saints for a cultural problem that has permeated the sport, we all became familiar with Greg Williams' locker room rant caricatures. One of his sayings was, “Drum roll please,”Kill the head, the body dies“.

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We're not trying to get Pierce in trouble about this. I love the man. He deserves the job he has. But he needs to be careful about what he says, especially regarding a player like Patrick Mahomes. Trust me, I know what a backlash there would be from suggesting, for example, that defensive players shouldn't allow themselves to be paralyzed by the fear of an unjustified 15-yard penalty for hitting a quarterback who becomes a running back the way he is hit. The full-backs. All the time.

Pierce did not specifically say “kill the head.” He said: We must cut off the snake's head. Fifteen.” Since Mahomes is currently the most popular player in the NFL who isn't dating Taylor Swift, that's likely enough to get the NFL's attention, either now or as the first two 2024 Raiders-Chiefs games approach From the start.

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