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  1. #1
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    Rich Gannon says he's confident

    JANIE McCAULEY
    AP Sports Writer
    ALAMEDA, Calif. Rich Gannon is more than a year removed from his MVP award, turns 39 in December, and swears he is 100 percent healthy and not the least bit concerned about the addition of backup Kerry Collins to the Oakland Raiders' quarterback mix.

    Gannon's still No. 1 in the minds of the Raiders and Collins, too.

    "I'm as hard on myself as anybody," Gannon said Tuesday, when the Raiders began a three-day voluntary minicamp. "I set the bar very high I think as anyone who's been around me would know. I don't really need anybody to come in to make me work harder to compete, to help me focus or challenge myself.

    "In my opinion, I'm here to work with Kerry and help him and help our team win. That's what my focus is going to be."

    Gannon had one of the most productive offseasons of his 17-year career as he recovered from surgery to repair a tear in his shoulder. He's been throwing almost every day this spring.

    He was knocked out of the Raiders' 17-10 loss to Kansas City last Oct. 20 and had surgery in November.

    "If I threw three days a week in the offseason that was a lot. Now I'm throwing every day," Gannon said. "I'm much further ahead than I would have been had I not had the surgery."

    He has looked crisp and strong in both minicamps so far. He completed a few passes of more than 25 yards Tuesday, though the bulk of his tries were shorter than 15.

    There had been speculation the Raiders might opt not to take on the $7 million salary Gannon is set to make in 2004 and he has repeatedly said he won't take a pay cut. The franchise hasn't seemed to lose faith in the man who led them to the 2002 Super Bowl.

    "I've seen Rich from the other side of the field numerous times," new coach Norv Turner said. "Seeing him on this side of the field, he's throwing the ball extremely well. He's one of the more accurate guys I've ever been around."

    The Raiders contacted Gannon to inform him they planned to sign Collins, a big, strong-armed quarterback who led a team to the Super Bowl just over three years ago. He was released by the New York Giants on April 28, four days after they acquired Eli Manning, the No. 1 pick in the draft.

    Gannon's reaction?

    "I don't know what people think, but I do have some intelligence," Gannon said. "You know, I am 38 years old. I think that they looked at what happened a year ago when I did get hurt and they probably felt like they needed to continue to try and improve that position. And, so, it made a lot of sense to me. It didn't surprise me at all."

    After Oakland ended last season 4-12 only a year after winning the AFC title the worst collapse by a previous year's Super Bowl team Gannon criticized the Raiders. He believes he unfairly became the organization's scapegoat in the first seven weeks of the season when no one stepped forward to take responsibility for the failures.

    He later met with owner Al Davis.

    During the Raiders' Super Bowl season, Gannon led the NFL's top offense and broke the league completions record with 418 on the way to MVP honors. He led the NFL with 4,689 yards passing.

    Turner plans to give Gannon and Collins nearly equal reps during this minicamp and in training camp, which begins July 30.

    Collins said he understands his position.

    "Rich is certainly capable of running this offense and running it well," Collins said. "All I know is what the situation is right now, and I don't think the situation is going to change any time soon. ... I certainly feel that I'm a starting quarterback in this league, but that's not my role here. But that's not going to keep me from working hard in practice and competing in practice with the young guys."

    Marques Tuiasosopo, the No. 2 quarterback last season before going on injured reserve with a torn ligament in his left knee, is not excited about his diminished role, but plans to stay ready in case he's needed.

    He's expecting only about 15 to 20 reps per practice during camp.

    "It's something pretty much out of my control," he said. "I have to go out and focus on getting better and keep playing. ... I've competed my whole life. This is nothing new."


  2. #2
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    Re: Rich Gannon says he's confident

    Hey, I'm a confident man also. However, I guarantee if I asked Heidi Klum out she'd say no. Same with Gannon. You could be confident all you want, but if you've lost it you've lost it.

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    Re: Rich Gannon says he's confident

    I hesitate to even ask this. And please understand I'm not trying to start another "great debate", I'm just curious: Why do you think the Raiders stuck with a 39-year-old QB, former MVP, recovering from injury while the Rams sent their 34-year-old QB, former MVP, recovering from injury packing?

    And please don't just say because Davis, Turner, Raiders FO, Martz, or Rams FO are idiots. Really what do you think is the difference in the two situations?
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: Rich Gannon says he's confident

    Honestly, I think it's Gannon's attitude. He was yelling at anyone and everyone he could last year without looking at himself in the mirror.

  5. #5
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    Re: Rich Gannon says he's confident

    Quote Originally Posted by txramsfan
    Hey, I'm a confident man also. However, I guarantee if I asked Heidi Klum out she'd say no. Same with Gannon.
    Don't sell yourself short, TX. While Heidi might spurn your advances, I think Gannon just might go out with you. :tongue:
    Have some fondue, it's delicious.

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    Re: Rich Gannon says he's confident

    The Rams went with the younger, healthier and yes BETTER qb. As far as Gannon hes 39 and has a gun and can run, hell I would love to see him run the Rams offense. Collins is an insurance policy incase Gannon goes down. Gotta have a quality backup in this league dont ya know. Ala, Chandler

    :ramlogo:

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    Re: Rich Gannon says he's confident

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison
    Why do you think the Raiders stuck with a 39-year-old QB, former MVP, recovering from injury while the Rams sent their 34-year-old QB, former MVP, recovering from injury packing?
    Because Gannon was one year removed from the Super Bowl and Warner is two. Gannon was dominating in 2002 and had an off year in 2003; he's had one bad year since his Super Bowl season. Meanwhile, Warner has had two years since 2001 and his last Super Bowl, and he hasn't been the same since.

    Keep in mind there are those speculating that the Raiders are keeping Gannon on their roster as long as possible but plan to let him go before the start of the season, just so he can't go to another team -- like the Bucs -- and spend time in their camp and claim their starting job.

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