Gannon To Share Experiences With Packer QBs....

Angry Pope

All Raider
Feb 2, 2006
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Helping out McCarthy...

Gannon To Share Experience In Friday's QB Meeting

by Mike Spofford

posted 06/15/2006

At the request of Head Coach Mike McCarthy, former NFL MVP Rich Gannon will speak to the Packers' young quarterbacks in their Friday morning meeting to describe his diligent off-the-field preparation during his 18-year pro career.

Gannon's dedication to film study and mental preparation impressed McCarthy when the two worked together from 1995-98 in Kansas City.

McCarthy was the Chiefs' quarterbacks coach then, and Gannon started 19 games during that stretch before joining the Oakland Raiders in 1999. Three years later, Gannon won the 2002 NFL MVP award and led the Raiders to the Super Bowl.

"He was the most competitive guy off the field that I've seen as far as his approach," McCarthy said. "He's an extreme competitor on the field, but just the way he went about his business...He watched the same amount of film no matter who he was playing or how many times he had played against them."

Obviously, Gannon had to keep himself in great physical shape in order to play quarterback for 18 years, and the mental preparation was a tried-and-true formula that spared no effort as well. Doing his homework will carry over to his new job as he works alongside play-by-play announcer Kevin Harlan as part of a NFL broadcast team for CBS.

"He treated his preparation of the game mentally no different than physically," McCarthy said. "He was very detailed in his approach and how he prepared for every single football game."

With Gannon's visit, McCarthy expects his young signal callers -- Aaron Rodgers, Ingle Martin, Brian Wrobel and Tom Arth -- to learn some valuable lessons in addition to whatever they can glean from watching and working with Brett Favre on a daily basis.

"Brett has an education of a lifetime for our younger guys," McCarthy said. "But to have a chance to educate younger quarterbacks from a different approach and different person, I think you need take full advantage of it.

"Anytime you have an opportunity to put someone of his class in front of your group and share his experience, I think it's a great education for our quarterbacks."
Boy Rich is making a career out of these visits to other teams! :eek:
CrossBones said:
Boy Rich is making a career out of these visits to other teams! :eek:
Gannon: So Mike, you want me to talk to your youngsters?

McCarthy: Sure Rich! That would be swell. Lord Favre just doesn't give a sh!t. I can't get him into mini-camps, much less the film room.

Gannon: Well, that can be arranged for a small $500k fee.

McCarthy: Uhhh... I thought we were buddies Rich! Who got you into the starting lineup when everyone else wanted to turn you into a CB?

Gannon: Look, I appreciate it and all but this here's a bidness and I got medical bills to pay. So it's $500k and an extra $50k if you want me to bring my MVP trophy for show and tell. Plus an extra $2k if'n you want me to polish it up. Trust me, this is a bargain. If you don't agree go back and look at some Aaron Rogers film from last season.

McCarthy: You're right. It's a deal!! Hey, see if you can get Rice to come in and talk to the receivers too!
hmmm yet he isnt giving this valued knowledge to any oakland qb's. its obvious that tui didn't catch on. :(
CrossBones said:
Boy Rich is making a career out of these visits to other teams! :eek:
I think part of it is demonstrating that he will go where he's asked to go.
Seraph24 said:
hmmm yet he isnt giving this valued knowledge to any oakland qb's. its obvious that tui didn't catch on. :(
Yeah, you never hear anything about Tui working hard or making big strides or any of that feel-good sh!t.

I remember reading articles about how Gannon and Gruden would get to the facilities at 4am and work their asses off all day long.

I've heard about how Huff prides himself on breaking down a ton of film.

Never heard a thing about Tui, other than that he looked sharp at practice or some other inane BS.

Last season's one-game meltdown concerned me because the guy's been learning the system and his teammates for a good long time, and practicing with a mentor like Gannon... he should've had a much better game. And against the pathetic Jets, no less.

I hope he's suitably embarrassed about it.
Rupert said:
I think part of it is demonstrating that he will go where he's asked to go.
Exactly....and apparently, AL and Art aren't asking!
The McCarthy and Gannon connection...

June 17, 2006

Former MVP praises McCarthy

By Pete Dougherty

Rich Gannon isn’t the reason Mike McCarthy is the Green Bay Packers’ new coach, but he’s one of the reasons.

While Gannon was putting together three straight Pro Bowl seasons with the Oakland Raiders late in his career, including winning the NFL’s most valuable player award in 2002, he was telling friends around the league that McCarthy turned around his career as his quarterbacks coach with the Kansas City Chiefs from 1995 to 1998.

That’s the kind of credential that can get an NFL assistant coach an interview for a head-coaching job.

McCarthy might have seemed an odd choice even to get an interview with General Manager Ted Thompson last offseason, considering his six years as an offensive coordinator for New Orleans and San Francisco included only one playoff appearance. But Ted Thompson was aware that an MVP quarterback was crediting McCarthy with his development at the game’s most important position.

“He was huge for me,” Gannon said of McCarthy on Friday. “It was like somebody turned the lights on. I finally realized why we were doing things, why footwork was so important, the importance of timing and rhythm in the passing game, decision-making process, managing a game, all those things.

“By the time I got to Oakland with Jon (Gruden), I was all ready to go.”

Gannon on Friday attended the Packers’ organized team activities, where McCarthy had him talk to his four young backup quarterbacks for about 45 minutes in a meeting and then work with them occasionally on the field later. Gannon says he has no intentions of becoming an NFL assistant coach, but he will be affiliated with the Packers in the exhibition season as color commentator for their three exhibition games televised on the state network by WFRV (Channel 5).

Gannon’s and McCarthy’s careers crossed paths with the Chiefs in 1995. Gannon was entering his eighth season in the NFL and coming back from a year out of football after having shoulder surgery in 1994, and McCarthy was just promoted from quality-control coach to quarterbacks coach.

Though McCarthy had been a tight end as a small-college player, he’d learned the West Coast offense from Paul Hackett, who was the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator at the time. Gannon didn’t become the Chiefs’ regular starter until both his and McCarthy’s final season with them, when he finished 1998 with a passer rating of 80.1 points for a team that finished 7-9.

Gannon left for Oakland in free agency the next season as the highly regarded Gruden’s hand-picked quarterback. From 1999 through 2002 the Raiders went 41-23, went to the playoffs three out of four years and played in the Super Bowl. Gannon went to three Pro Bowls at ages 35, 36 and 37.

Gannon played for four teams in his 17-year NFL career — Minnesota (1987 to 1992), Washington (1993), Kansas City (1995 to 1998) and Oakland (1999 to 2004) — and says McCarthy was his best quarterbacks coach.

“Purely from coaching the quarterbacks, Mike can take them all,” Gannon said. “He knows all about the footwork, he knows all about the timing and rhythm of things, he understands protections. He’s a phenomenal coach. I remember my first year in Kansas City, we’d come in there and I’d have a four- or five-page quarterback test. I mean this is the spring time. I say to myself, this guy must have been up all night writing this stuff: essay questions, multiple choice, true or false, everything you can think of.

“He wanted to challenge you in the spring, he wanted to challenge you in training camp to get you ready, so when you went out there on Sunday, it was just reaction. You could go play the game and didn’t have to think about it.”

McCarthy had quarterback Brett Favre work out on his own Friday and skip practice and meetings. The other four quarterbacks — Aaron Rodgers, fifth-round draft pick Ingle Martin, Tom Arth and Brian Wrobel — had a regular day that included a 45-minute talk from Gannon.

For his talk, Gannon brought some of his notes from his playing days and gave the four details of the weekly film, studying and practice schedule he developed over his 17 years in the NFL. That’s something he withheld even from teammates while he was still in the league, because he didn’t want to lose the competitive edge he thought his system gave him.

“Preparation was the overriding message,” Rodgers said.

Gannon also talked to them about the extra film work and studying they have to do to stay sharp as backups who get relatively few snaps in practice and games, a role he played for about half of his career. That’s especially important for Rodgers, the first-round pick from 2005 whom the Packers are developing to succeed Favre as starter, probably in the next year or two.

With Favre not at practice, Rodgers worked with the No. 1 offense, so Gannon got a relatively extensive first-hand look at him.

“When you look at him physically,” Gannon said, “he’s an athletic, strong-looking guy. He’s got good legs, good arm strength, can make all the throws. The biggest thing for him is just the mental game, to take all that information and process it and go out here and be a sound decision-maker. That’s the thing you want to be as a quarterback, go out and make sound decisions.”
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