A Look Back At — Rich Gannon
Quarterback Rich Gannon played with the Raiders from 1999-2004. During his six years, he was voted to the Pro Bowl four times, where he was named Pro Bowl Most Valuable Player twice (2001-02) – an accomplishment that no other National Football League player had ever achieved, was named the NFL’s MVP after his record setting season in 2002, and led the Raiders to three straight AFC West titles, two AFC Championship games, and one Super Bowl appearance.
During the 2002 season, Gannon set records in four different categories: pass completions (418), 300-yard passing games (10), single-game consecutive completions (21 vs. Denver), and single-game completions (43 vs. Pittsburgh). Gannon also set three Raiders franchise records: completions (1,533), 300-yard passing games (24), and completion percentage (62.6).
Gannon finished his tenure with the Silver and Black as the second leading passer in Raiders history.
SVT: When did you start playing football?
Rich Gannon: I started playing organized football in 1972. I was in the second grade and I played in the 65-pound youth organization in Philadelphia, and I never missed a season until 1994 when I had rotator cuff surgery.
SVT: How did you become a Raider?
Rich Gannon: I finished the 1998 season in Kansas City and was an unrestricted free agent. I got a call from Jon Gruden and I flew out the next day; sat down and visited with him, Bruce Allen, and Mr. Davis. It felt right and I felt like it was something that we could build and help turn around, and I think we did in a short time there.
SVT: What did it mean for you to play for the Raiders?
Rich Gannon: Well it was a great opportunity. It’s a great organization with a great history and I was proud of the fact that I left the place better than when I found it. We won three straight AFC West titles, we went to two AFC Championship games, went to the Super Bowl, but we didn’t accomplish all of our goals.
SVT: Is there any one moment or play that stands out in your career?
Rich Gannon: Not really. The thing I am most proud of is that I never took the game for granted; I worked extremely hard, and never disrespected the game. I realized how difficult it is and how hard you have to work at it and I was proud of myself, my preparation, and performance.
SVT: Do you keep in contact with any of your former Raider teammates?
Rich Gannon: Yeah, certainly. I sure do.
SVT: Which team did you enjoy playing against the most?