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Re: [GoRaiders-BAM! Right in the eye!] Re: Should The Raiders Stand By Rich Gannon?

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  • tana casimiro
    Gannon is bye bye babe.....we need to start a new.. Arnett Carroll wrote:Yes,we should keep Gannon as the starter. He is one of the best
    Message 1 of 3 , May 24, 2004
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      Gannon is bye bye babe.....we need to start a new..

      Arnett Carroll <ac3a@...> wrote:
      Yes,we should keep Gannon as the starter.  He is one of the best
      quarterbacks to ever wear the uniform.  Stats aren't the only
      indication of a player's performance and true contribution to the team
      and the sport.  Gannon brings a lot to the table.  Kerry Collins is an
      excellent additon to the team.  We need a backup who can come in and
      keep the team moving.  Gannon missed something like 13 games last
      year.  Mirer is a good backup QB for a few games but doesn't seem able
      to make the long stretch.  Kerry Collins can and may even be able to
      succeed Gannon when he chooses to retire.

      --- In GoRaiders@yahoogroups.com, wonderfulkat� wrote:
      > Should The Raiders Stand By Rich Gannon?
      >
      > ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Two weeks until the start of cap-casualty season
      > and most of the victims have been long identified. Former MVP Kurt
      > Warner and former No. 1 overall pick Tim Couch have been given
      > permission to seek trades and are prime candidates to be released
      > because of their hefty contracts.
      >
      >   SURVEY
      >
      >
      > The Raiders have made sweeping changes to their coaching staff and
      > roster after
      > the worst post-Super Bowl season in NFL history. Cutting ties with
      > Gannon, who
      > missed the final nine games of the season with a torn labrum, in
      > favor of
      > Kerry Collins,
      > recently released by the Giants, would seem a perfect fit on the
      > surface
      > to complete the
      > team's transformation back to playoff contender.
      >
      >
      > But it's a move the Raiders should resist.
      >
      > The Raiders hosted Collins last week in what the club called an
      > "exploratory" meeting.
      > What they should discover is that while Collins is the
      best-available
      > quarterback, he's
      > not the best fit for the Oakland Raiders.
      >
      > The argument for Collins is appealing. He's 31 (the same age Jim
      > Plunkett was when
      > he signed with Oakland and turned his career around), nearly seven
      > years younger
      > than Gannon, and has a stronger arm.
      >
      > The Penn State product is big and durable -- he started 72 straight
      > games including
      > playoffs for New York until missing the last three games of the 2003
      > season -- and
      > has worked hard to overcome a bad reputation and was universally
      > respected and
      > liked by his New York teammates.
      >
      > Equally important, Collins would certainly count far less against
      the
      > salary cap, and
      > seems a better fit for Norv Turner's offense.
      >
      > The most frequent argument made in support of Collins is that he
      > would
      > play the
      > Troy Aikman role in Turner's offense.
      >
      > Video
      >
      >
      > Video On Demand: Rich Gannon Talks About His Arm And Future Collins
      > is nowhere near as
      > accurate a passer as Aikman was though, and a better comparison
      > might be Jim
      > Everett, another quarterback who Turner worked with in the past.
      >
      >
      > Like Everett, Collins has a huge arm, can look like a Hall of Famer
      > on his
      > best days,
      > but also turns the ball over too much.
      >
      > With Turner calling the plays in the Dallas offense from 1991-93,
      > Aikman
      > completed
      > 66 percent of his passes and was a 62 percent career passer. Collins
      > is
      > a 56 percent
      > career passer, though his stats were slightly better at 59 percent
      > during
      > his tenure
      > with the Giants.
      >
      > The strong-armed Collins was only 10-of-50 last year on throws over
      > 20
      > yards from
      > scrimmage and his yards per attempt don't match up to Gannon's. In
      > his
      > best season,
      > Collins threw 22 touchdown passes. Gannon threw at least 24 in each
      > of
      > his four full
      > seasons in Oakland.
      >
      > As convoluted as the NFL's quarterback rating system is, it is a
      good
      > guide to judge
      > overall effectiveness. Collins has a career QB rating of 73.1 and a
      > career-
      > best of 85.4
      > (2002).
      >
      > In 2000, when he led the Giants to the Super Bowl, he had an 83.1
      > rating.
      > Gannon's
      > career QB rating is 84.7. He's ranged between 86.5 and 97.3 in his
      > first
      > four seasons
      > as a Raider when he made the Pro Bowl four times and led Oakland to
      > three straight
      > division titles.
      >
      > Last year, Gannon's QB rating also topped Collins' even though he
      > played poorly before
      > being knocked out for the season in a Week 7 Monday night affair
      with
      > the
      > Chiefs.
      >
      > All this isn't to knock Collins. He did an amazing job of salvaging
      > his
      > career with the
      > Giants and was as good as any quarterback in the NFL at his best as
      > he
      > was in the
      > 2000 NFC Championship Game against the Vikings. Collins was an
      > incredible 28-for-39
      > for 381 yards and five touchdowns before being pulled after three
      > quarters in that
      > blowout.
      >
      > On merit, Collins would deserve to start on at least 19 NFL teams
      > this
      > season. He's in
      > the unfortunate situation of finding nearly a third of the teams in
      > the NFL
      > committed
      > to younger starters because of their high draft status and salaries.
      >
      > The biggest problem Collins has is a penchant for the turnover; he
      > makes more bad
      > decisions than Gannon.
      >
      > Collins battled fumbling problems in New York, and he's also thrown
      > more interceptions
      > than touchdowns (134-132) in his career. He's on the plus side as a
      > Giant
      > (81-70) in
      > that department, but 70 picks in 71 regular-season starts is too
      many
      > for
      > the Raiders
      > to make a commitment to Collins as a starter.
      >
      > New York fans recall a Week 4 game at Arizona in 2002 when Collins
      > threw a sideline
      > pass right before the half that was returned 38 yards for a
      touchdown
      > to
      > tie the game.
      > Arizona built on that momentum in the second half and won the game.
      >
      > Every quarterback is entitled to a bad pass, but Gannon has proven
      he
      > won't often make
      > the mistake that hurts his team. In Gannon's five-year tenure in
      > Oakland,
      > the Raiders
      > have rarely been out of a game in the fourth quarter.
      >
      > The Raiders have made great strides to address their terrible line
      > play
      > on both sides last
      > year.
      >
      > The additions of Ted Washington, Warren Sapp and a return to health
      > of
      > John Parrella will
      > greatly help improve the NFL's worst run defense. New defensive
      > coordinator Rob Ryan is
      > promising to incorporate a lot of 3-4 looks and put more pressure on
      > the
      > quarterback.
      >
      > All those additions will help Oakland, but they don't make the
      Raider
      > defense an elite unit.
      > The Raiders will have plenty of players in new positions and won't
      > have
      > depth or experienced
      > starters at defensive end and linebacker.
      >
      > The defense won't be good enough to overcome the interception per
      > game Collins averaged
      > as a Giant, not to mention the fumbles.
      >
      > Oakland did not add a proven deep threat at receiver, so it likely
      > won't
      > have the quick-strike
      > ability to overcome a lot of turnovers on offense either.
      >
      > For those reasons, the Raiders should keep Gannon and give him the
      > opportunity to show
      > he can still be a top-level quarterback.
      >
      > Gannon has prized the ball as a Raider with a better than 2:1 TD-to
      > INT
      > ratio in the Silver
      > and Black (109-48). In his worst season last year, Gannon was still
      > on the
      > positive side and
      > about the only thing the Raiders didn't do to hurt themselves in the
      > first
      > half of last season
      > was commit turnovers. In 225 attempts, Gannon threw only four
      > interceptions.
      >
      > At the recent Raider mini-camp, Gannon showed a strong arm, making
      > close to 200 throws
      > during the three-day session.
      >
      > "I knew I'd be back," Gannon told reporters after the camp. "I know
      a
      > lot
      > of people wrote me
      > off. I'm telling you I feel as good as I have ever felt. I still
      have
      > a ways to
      > go to get to the level
      > I want to be, not only physically but mentally. But I feel very good
      > about
      > where I am at. I have
      > no doubt I will be stronger and better than I was a year ago."
      >
      > Turner liked what he saw at the mini-camp as well.
      >
      > "He's moving around good and he's throwing the ball well, and he
      > looks
      > sharp," Turner said after
      > watching Gannon throw.
      >
      > Past performance and some crisp passes in a non-contact practice
      > don't
      > guarantee a 38-year old
      > quarterback with a $7 million cap number coming off his worst season
      > and shoulder surgery a
      > place under center on September 12 in Pittsburgh.
      >
      > After the season, Gannon unequivocally said he would restructure his
      > current deal, which runs
      > through 2008, to help the Raiders' cap situation this year, but he
      > would
      > not accept any less
      > money than he signed to play for.
      >
      > "If they ask me to take a penny less, I'd say no," Gannon said in
      > January.
      > "I think I earn
      > every penny I make. I think I'm a value to this football team. I've
      > been that
      > way the last
      > four seasons, and I don't think anyone can argue that point."
      >
      > The past performance doesn't guarantee a return to form but there
      are
      > reasons to believe
      > Gannon can rebound.
      >
      > He's as smart as any quarterback in the league and will be able to
      > quickly absorb the new
      > offense. In all, the wily veteran is embracing the changes in
      Oakland.
      >
      > "We are still going to do some of the same concepts that we've had
      > success with in the
      > past," Gannon said. "So it's not going to be completely foreign to
      > everybody. But there
      > are going to be some different throws and some different actions
      that
      > we
      > think will help
      > us get some bigger chunks and will also help us push the ball up the
      > field
      > a little bit."
      >
      > One of the premier weapons Gannon will have at his disposal to get
      > those big yards is a
      > healthy Jerry Porter, who was on the verge of a breakout season
      after
      > 2002 when he
      > scored nine touchdowns and reached the end zone in all three
      > postseason games. Porter
      > went out in the first half of the season opener and wasn't healthy
      > until
      > Gannon was done
      > for the season.
      >
      > THIN RED LINE
      >
      >
      > Another factor in Gannon's future with the team has to do with the
      > men up
      > front.
      > Oakland's line woes are no secret, but that should change in 2004.
      >
      > The Raiders have restored the depth they had on the line in 2002. In
      > fact,
      > the club
      > acquired some of the best young line talent it has had in years when
      > franchise left
      > tackle Robert Gallery and gutty center Jake Grove were added on
      draft
      > weekend. They
      > have nine quality linemen on the roster and will have competition
      > across
      > the line come
      > training camp.
      >
      > The line sabotaged countless drives with false starts and holding
      > penalties last year. Guards
      > Frank Middleton and Mo Collins crossed the thin line from mauling
      > blockers, to obese
      > blockers unable to handle quick stunts inside.
      >
      > The Raiders will scrap the three-receiver base offense. Jerry Rice
      > and
      > Tim Brown don't give
      > Oakland an advantage in matchups anymore.
      >
      > The strength of the offense now figures to be the power running
      game.
      > The return of tight
      >  end Roland Williams will give the Raiders the blocking tight end
      > they
      > lacked last year.
      > Turner goes out of his way to utilize his tight ends.
      >
      > In Turner's last four seasons calling plays -- covering stints in
      > Washington, San Diego and
      > Miami -- his tight ends averaged 11.7 yards on 195 catches. The
      > Oakland
      > tight ends caught
      > 194 passes over the same four years but averaged two less yards per
      > catch.
      >
      > In Doug Jolley and Teyo Johnson, Turner has his most talented tight
      > ends since Jay Novacek
      > in Dallas. Both are fast enough to get down the seams and Jolley has
      > proven he has excellent
      > hands. Whoever wins the job opposite Williams will give Gannon an
      > intermediate target to
      > move the chains.
      >
      > NOT OVER YET
      >
      >
      > Gannon, a stubborn veteran quarterback in search of a Super Bowl
      > ring,
      > has a long track
      > record of success when doubted.
      >
      > Coming out of Delaware, Gannon refused to switch to defense after
      New
      > England drafted him.
      > He dismissed defensive drills for scouts before the draft. He
      > successfully rehabbed a shoulder
      > injury that kept him out of the entire 1994 season.
      >
      > When his good seasons were labeled a byproduct of Jon Gruden's
      > version of the West Coast
      > offense, Gannon responded by winning the MVP in 2002, setting a
      > record
      > with 10 300-yard
      > games and threatened Dan Marino's passing yardage record in a more
      > wide-open offense.
      >
      > Benched by Marty Schottenheimer for Elvis Grbac after preserving
      > home-field advantage for
      > the Chiefs in 1997, Gannon has scorched Schottenheimer's Chargers in
      > all three matchups
      > since that game. He completed 67 percent of his passes for 1,037
      > yards
      > and six touchdowns
      > with only two interceptions over that span.
      >
      > Clearly, he's still angered by the criticism from last season, which
      > could
      > be a good sign for the
      > Raiders.
      >
      > "The reality of what happened last year was a travesty," Gannon told
      > the
      > Contra Costa Times
      > after the recent mini-camp. "I took a beating and all the criticism
      > that was
      > handed down. I was
      > disappointed that coaches and teammates didn't stand up and share in
      > the responsibility.
      >
      > "It's disrespectful to be in this league [for 17 years] and for
      > people to say
      > [those things] and for
      >  no one to come to my defense -- the MVP the year before, the guy
      who
      > has been to four Pro
      > Bowls," he said. "No one did that."
      >
      > According to a report in the USA Today, Gannon stated: "I know some
      > people say I can't do it
      > anymore, but that's ludicrous. It's a joke."
      >
      > As poorly as he played before suffering the season-ending injury,
      > including five sub-200-yard
      > games, the Raiders could have easily been 5-1 before Gannon's final
      > game if they didn't commit
      >  so many penalties. Gannon was certainly shaky in the pocket and
      > quicker to release the ball last
      > year, but even Peyton Manning would have a hard time succeeding if
      > his
      > team committed 17
      > penalties (a five-point loss at Tennessee) and 19 penalties (a
      > six-point
      > loss at Cleveland).
      >
      > Faced with plenty of second-and-twenties and third-and-fourteens,
      the
      > Raiders had no running
      > game in the first half of the season and the playbook was limited at
      > many
      > times to hurried screens.
      >
      > An incredible 19 percent of Gannon's passes last year were thrown
      > short
      > of the line of scrimmage.
      > The Raider woes reached an apex in a horrible loss at Cleveland.
      > After
      > Gannon threaded the
      > needle for a 30-plus yard completion into double coverage, Oakland
      > committed five consecutive
      >  penalties.
      >
      > At the press conference to announce Turner's hiring, Raiders' owner
      > Al
      > Davis repeatedly said the
      > most important factor in choosing Turner was his desire to have a
      > play-
      > caller on the sidelines.
      >
      > Now Davis has to make the right call and stick with Gannon. The
      > quarterback earned a chance to
      > keep the job and if he doesn't play well the Raiders will have the
      > opportunity in the second half to
      > finally see if backup Marques Tuiasosopo can be a starter.




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    • Rene Alvarez
      He ll most likely sign with tampa. So we ll be able to see him one last time in Oakland when the Raiders play tampa on sept 26. tana casimiro
      Message 2 of 3 , May 24, 2004
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        He'll most likely sign with tampa. So we'll be able to see him one last time in Oakland when the Raiders play tampa on sept 26.

        tana casimiro <mztana820@...> wrote:
        Gannon is bye bye babe.....we need to start a new..

        Arnett Carroll <ac3a@...> wrote:
        Yes,we should keep Gannon as the starter.  He is one of the best
        quarterbacks to ever wear the uniform.  Stats aren't the only
        indication of a player's performance and true contribution to the team
        and the sport.  Gannon brings a lot to the table.  Kerry Collins is an
        excellent additon to the team.  We need a backup who can come in and
        keep the team moving.  Gannon missed something like 13 games last
        year.  Mirer is a good backup QB for a few games but doesn't seem able
        to make the long stretch.  Kerry Collins can and may even be able to
        succeed Gannon when he chooses to retire.

        --- In GoRaiders@yahoogroups.com, wonderfulkat� wrote:
        > Should The Raiders Stand By Rich Gannon?
        >
        > ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Two weeks until the start of cap-casualty season
        > and most of the victims have been long identified. Former MVP Kurt
        > Warner and former No. 1 overall pick Tim Couch have been given
        > permission to seek trades and are prime candidates to be released
        > because of their hefty contracts.
        >
        >   SURVEY
        >
        >
        > The Raiders have made sweeping changes to their coaching staff and
        > roster after
        > the worst post-Super Bowl season in NFL history. Cutting ties with
        > Gannon, who
        > missed the final nine games of the season with a torn labrum, in
        > favor of
        > Kerry Collins,
        > recently released by the Giants, would seem a perfect fit on the
        > surface
        > to complete the
        > team's transformation back to playoff contender.
        >
        >
        > But it's a move the Raiders should resist.
        >
        > The Raiders hosted Collins last week in what the club called an
        > "exploratory" meeting.
        > What they should discover is that while Collins is the
        best-available
        > quarterback, he's
        > not the best fit for the Oakland Raiders.
        >
        > The argument for Collins is appealing. He's 31 (the same age Jim
        > Plunkett was when
        > he signed with Oakland and turned his career around), nearly seven
        > years younger
        > than Gannon, and has a stronger arm.
        >
        > The Penn State product is big and durable -- he started 72 straight
        > games including
        > playoffs for New York until missing the last three games of the 2003
        > season -- and
        > has worked hard to overcome a bad reputation and was universally
        > respected and
        > liked by his New York teammates.
        >
        > Equally important, Collins would certainly count far less against
        the
        > salary cap, and
        > seems a better fit for Norv Turner's offense.
        >
        > The most frequent argument made in support of Collins is that he
        > would
        > play the
        > Troy Aikman role in Turner's offense.
        >
        > Video
        >
        >
        > Video On Demand: Rich Gannon Talks About His Arm And Future Collins
        > is nowhere near as
        > accurate a passer as Aikman was though, and a better comparison
        > might be Jim
        > Everett, another quarterback who Turner worked with in the past.
        >
        >
        > Like Everett, Collins has a huge arm, can look like a Hall of Famer
        > on his
        > best days,
        > but also turns the ball over too much.
        >
        > With Turner calling the plays in the Dallas offense from 1991-93,
        > Aikman
        > completed
        > 66 percent of his passes and was a 62 percent career passer. Collins
        > is
        > a 56 percent
        > career passer, though his stats were slightly better at 59 percent
        > during
        > his tenure
        > with the Giants.
        >
        > The strong-armed Collins was only 10-of-50 last year on throws over
        > 20
        > yards from
        > scrimmage and his yards per attempt don't match up to Gannon's. In
        > his
        > best season,
        > Collins threw 22 touchdown passes. Gannon threw at least 24 in each
        > of
        > his four full
        > seasons in Oakland.
        >
        > As convoluted as the NFL's quarterback rating system is, it is a
        good
        > guide to judge
        > overall effectiveness. Collins has a career QB rating of 73.1 and a
        > career-
        > best of 85.4
        > (2002).
        >
        > In 2000, when he led the Giants to the Super Bowl, he had an 83.1
        > rating.
        > Gannon's
        > career QB rating is 84.7. He's ranged between 86.5 and 97.3 in his
        > first
        > four seasons
        > as a Raider when he made the Pro Bowl four times and led Oakland to
        > three straight
        > division titles.
        >
        > Last year, Gannon's QB rating also topped Collins' even though he
        > played poorly before
        > being knocked out for the season in a Week 7 Monday night affair
        with
        > the
        > Chiefs.
        >
        > All this isn't to knock Collins. He did an amazing job of salvaging
        > his
        > career with the
        > Giants and was as good as any quarterback in the NFL at his best as
        > he
        > was in the
        > 2000 NFC Championship Game against the Vikings. Collins was an
        > incredible 28-for-39
        > for 381 yards and five touchdowns before being pulled after three
        > quarters in that
        > blowout.
        >
        > On merit, Collins would deserve to start on at least 19 NFL teams
        > this
        > season. He's in
        > the unfortunate situation of finding nearly a third of the teams in
        > the NFL
        > committed
        > to younger starters because of their high draft status and salaries.
        >
        > The biggest problem Collins has is a penchant for the turnover; he
        > makes more bad
        > decisions than Gannon.
        >
        > Collins battled fumbling problems in New York, and he's also thrown
        > more interceptions
        > than touchdowns (134-132) in his career. He's on the plus side as a
        > Giant
        > (81-70) in
        > that department, but 70 picks in 71 regular-season starts is too
        many
        > for
        > the Raiders
        > to make a commitment to Collins as a starter.
        >
        > New York fans recall a Week 4 game at Arizona in 2002 when Collins
        > threw a sideline
        > pass right before the half that was returned 38 yards for a
        touchdown
        > to
        > tie the game.
        > Arizona built on that momentum in the second half and won the game.
        >
        > Every quarterback is entitled to a bad pass, but Gannon has proven
        he
        > won't often make
        > the mistake that hurts his team. In Gannon's five-year tenure in
        > Oakland,
        > the Raiders
        > have rarely been out of a game in the fourth quarter.
        >
        > The Raiders have made great strides to address their terrible line
        > play
        > on both sides last
        > year.
        >
        > The additions of Ted Washington, Warren Sapp and a return to health
        > of
        > John Parrella will
        > greatly help improve the NFL's worst run defense. New defensive
        > coordinator Rob Ryan is
        > promising to incorporate a lot of 3-4 looks and put more pressure on
        > the
        > quarterback.
        >
        > All those additions will help Oakland, but they don't make the
        Raider
        > defense an elite unit.
        > The Raiders will have plenty of players in new positions and won't
        > have
        > depth or experienced
        > starters at defensive end and linebacker.
        >
        > The defense won't be good enough to overcome the interception per
        > game Collins averaged
        > as a Giant, not to mention the fumbles.
        >
        > Oakland did not add a proven deep threat at receiver, so it likely
        > won't
        > have the quick-strike
        > ability to overcome a lot of turnovers on offense either.
        >
        > For those reasons, the Raiders should keep Gannon and give him the
        > opportunity to show
        > he can still be a top-level quarterback.
        >
        > Gannon has prized the ball as a Raider with a better than 2:1 TD-to
        > INT
        > ratio in the Silver
        > and Black (109-48). In his worst season last year, Gannon was still
        > on the
        > positive side and
        > about the only thing the Raiders didn't do to hurt themselves in the
        > first
        > half of last season
        > was commit turnovers. In 225 attempts, Gannon threw only four
        > interceptions.
        >
        > At the recent Raider mini-camp, Gannon showed a strong arm, making
        > close to 200 throws
        > during the three-day session.
        >
        > "I knew I'd be back," Gannon told reporters after the camp. "I know
        a
        > lot
        > of people wrote me
        > off. I'm telling you I feel as good as I have ever felt. I still
        have
        > a ways to
        > go to get to the level
        > I want to be, not only physically but mentally. But I feel very good
        > about
        > where I am at. I have
        > no doubt I will be stronger and better than I was a year ago."
        >
        > Turner liked what he saw at the mini-camp as well.
        >
        > "He's moving around good and he's throwing the ball well, and he
        > looks
        > sharp," Turner said after
        > watching Gannon throw.
        >
        > Past performance and some crisp passes in a non-contact practice
        > don't
        > guarantee a 38-year old
        > quarterback with a $7 million cap number coming off his worst season
        > and shoulder surgery a
        > place under center on September 12 in Pittsburgh.
        >
        > After the season, Gannon unequivocally said he would restructure his
        > current deal, which runs
        > through 2008, to help the Raiders' cap situation this year, but he
        > would
        > not accept any less
        > money than he signed to play for.
        >
        > "If they ask me to take a penny less, I'd say no," Gannon said in
        > January.
        > "I think I earn
        > every penny I make. I think I'm a value to this football team. I've
        > been that
        > way the last
        > four seasons, and I don't think anyone can argue that point."
        >
        > The past performance doesn't guarantee a return to form but there
        are
        > reasons to believe
        > Gannon can rebound.
        >
        > He's as smart as any quarterback in the league and will be able to
        > quickly absorb the new
        > offense. In all, the wily veteran is embracing the changes in
        Oakland.
        >
        > "We are still going to do some of the same concepts that we've had
        > success with in the
        > past," Gannon said. "So it's not going to be completely foreign to
        > everybody. But there
        > are going to be some different throws and some different actions
        that
        > we
        > think will help
        > us get some bigger chunks and will also help us push the ball up the
        > field
        > a little bit."
        >
        > One of the premier weapons Gannon will have at his disposal to get
        > those big yards is a
        > healthy Jerry Porter, who was on the verge of a breakout season
        after
        > 2002 when he
        > scored nine touchdowns and reached the end zone in all three
        > postseason games. Porter
        > went out in the first half of the season opener and wasn't healthy
        > until
        > Gannon was done
        > for the season.
        >
        > THIN RED LINE
        >
        >
        > Another factor in Gannon's future with the team has to do with the
        > men up
        > front.
        > Oakland's line woes are no secret, but that should change in 2004.
        >
        > The Raiders have restored the depth they had on the line in 2002. In
        > fact,
        > the club
        > acquired some of the best young line talent it has had in years when
        > franchise left
        > tackle Robert Gallery and gutty center Jake Grove were added on
        draft
        > weekend. They
        > have nine quality linemen on the roster and will have competition
        > across
        > the line come
        > training camp.
        >
        > The line sabotaged countless drives with false starts and holding
        > penalties last year. Guards
        > Frank Middleton and Mo Collins crossed the thin line from mauling
        > blockers, to obese
        > blockers unable to handle quick stunts inside.
        >
        > The Raiders will scrap the three-receiver base offense. Jerry Rice
        > and
        > Tim Brown don't give
        > Oakland an advantage in matchups anymore.
        >
        > The strength of the offense now figures to be the power running
        game.
        > The return of tight
        >  end Roland Williams will give the Raiders the blocking tight end
        > they
        > lacked last year.
        > Turner goes out of his way to utilize his tight ends.
        >
        > In Turner's last four seasons calling plays -- covering stints in
        > Washington, San Diego and
        > Miami -- his tight ends averaged 11.7 yards on 195 catches. The
        > Oakland
        > tight ends caught
        > 194 passes over the same four years but averaged two less yards per
        > catch.
        >
        > In Doug Jolley and Teyo Johnson, Turner has his most talented tight
        > ends since Jay Novacek
        > in Dallas. Both are fast enough to get down the seams and Jolley has
        > proven he has excellent
        > hands. Whoever wins the job opposite Williams will give Gannon an
        > intermediate target to
        > move the chains.
        >
        > NOT OVER YET
        >
        >
        > Gannon, a stubborn veteran quarterback in search of a Super Bowl
        > ring,
        > has a long track
        > record of success when doubted.
        >
        > Coming out of Delaware, Gannon refused to switch to defense after
        New
        > England drafted him.
        > He dismissed defensive drills for scouts before the draft. He
        > successfully rehabbed a shoulder
        > injury that kept him out of the entire 1994 season.
        >
        > When his good seasons were labeled a byproduct of Jon Gruden's
        > version of the West Coast
        > offense, Gannon responded by winning the MVP in 2002, setting a
        > record
        > with 10 300-yard
        > games and threatened Dan Marino's passing yardage record in a more
        > wide-open offense.
        >
        > Benched by Marty Schottenheimer for Elvis Grbac after preserving
        > home-field advantage for
        > the Chiefs in 1997, Gannon has scorched Schottenheimer's Chargers in
        > all three matchups
        > since that game. He completed 67 percent of his passes for 1,037
        > yards
        > and six touchdowns
        > with only two interceptions over that span.
        >
        > Clearly, he's still angered by the criticism from last season, which
        > could
        > be a good sign for the
        > Raiders.
        >
        > "The reality of what happened last year was a travesty," Gannon told
        > the
        > Contra Costa Times
        > after the recent mini-camp. "I took a beating and all the criticism
        > that was
        > handed down. I was
        > disappointed that coaches and teammates didn't stand up and share in
        > the responsibility.
        >
        > "It's disrespectful to be in this league [for 17 years] and for
        > people to say
        > [those things] and for
        >  no one to come to my defense -- the MVP the year before, the guy
        who
        > has been to four Pro
        > Bowls," he said. "No one did that."
        >
        > According to a report in the USA Today, Gannon stated: "I know some
        > people say I can't do it
        > anymore, but that's ludicrous. It's a joke."
        >
        > As poorly as he played before suffering the season-ending injury,
        > including five sub-200-yard
        > games, the Raiders could have easily been 5-1 before Gannon's final
        > game if they didn't commit
        >  so many penalties. Gannon was certainly shaky in the pocket and
        > quicker to release the ball last
        > year, but even Peyton Manning would have a hard time succeeding if
        > his
        > team committed 17
        > penalties (a five-point loss at Tennessee) and 19 penalties (a
        > six-point
        > loss at Cleveland).
        >
        > Faced with plenty of second-and-twenties and third-and-fourteens,
        the
        > Raiders had no running
        > game in the first half of the season and the playbook was limited at
        > many
        > times to hurried screens.
        >
        > An incredible 19 percent of Gannon's passes last year were thrown
        > short
        > of the line of scrimmage.
        > The Raider woes reached an apex in a horrible loss at Cleveland.
        > After
        > Gannon threaded the
        > needle for a 30-plus yard completion into double coverage, Oakland
        > committed five consecutive
        >  penalties.
        >
        > At the press conference to announce Turner's hiring, Raiders' owner
        > Al
        > Davis repeatedly said the
        > most important factor in choosing Turner was his desire to have a
        > play-
        > caller on the sidelines.
        >
        > Now Davis has to make the right call and stick with Gannon. The
        > quarterback earned a chance to
        > keep the job and if he doesn't play well the Raiders will have the
        > opportunity in the second half to
        > finally see if backup Marques Tuiasosopo can be a starter.




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