Rich Gannon comments
Sid Hartman: Gannon says Vikings will adjust, fare better
Sid Hartman, Star Tribune
September 15, 2005
Now that former Oakland Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon has retired after a great NFL career, the former league Most Valuable Player and two-time Pro Bowl MVP is involved in covering the Vikings.
"It's a disappointing start," Gannon said about the Vikings' loss to the Buccaneers. "I'm sure no one is happy with that. I think it's what they do from here. Make the corrections, make the changes. Try to build on the positives. The defense played really well, kept them in the game, with a chance to win at the end.
"They struggled with some protection issues, struggled with some communication issues, little things like that. That has to get cleaned up. They'll do a better job this week against Cincinnati.
"The amazing thing to me is you look at the game, five turnovers, the Vikings get the ball back, drive the length of the field, inside two minutes, and have a chance to win."
Gannon and the Raiders were beaten 48-21 by the Buccaneers in Super Bowl XXXVII when they had to go up against the Bucs defense and mastermind defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin.
"We really struggled. The only team that beat them twice in that Super Bowl year was New Orleans," Gannon said. "They ran the ball effectively, and that's what you have to do against Tampa."
Gannon said he occasionally was in the same shoes as Vikings quarterback Daunte Culpepper, who had one of this worst days as a pro against the Bucs, being involved in five turnovers.
"He really had a tough day," Gannon said. "What happens from a quarterback's standpoint is that things happen that you don't expect. It makes it very difficult to focus and just do your job. Culpepper was trying to make plays and do some things that are very uncharacteristic for him. To try and make plays and do things, not within the scheme of the system. As a result, the bad plays happen."
Gannon said he can't second-guess the Vikings' offensive game plan of trying to run the ball.
"I would've done the same thing, unfortunately," he said. "As bad as they were last year as a football team(Tampa), the defense was still a top-five defense. It's one of the better defenses they'll face this year. They're a veteran group. They're playing well. They're playing as well as they did in 2002 right out the gate, so hopefully the worst is behind the Vikings."
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