Rich Gannon spent the final six seasons of his career in Oakland. He played for Jon Gruden and was named NFL MVP in 2002.
He has zero doubts about Gruden’s ability to turn the Raiders into a winner.
“I’m excited. I think he’s going to do a terrific job,” the NFL on CBS analyst said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “There’s no one in the business that works harder than Jon. It’s well-documented. It’s all true. It’s important to him. He’s put together a great coaching staff, I think he’s got a really good young quarterback that he can groom and I think he’s going to get great results with. I think he’s got an owner that’s willing to spend the money to improve the roster. I think Jon’s going to do a terrific job.”
Gruden, 54, hasn’t coached in the NFL since 2008, but Gannon doesn’t see that as a problem.
“People say he’s been away from it for so long. Well, he really hasn’t,” Gannon said. “He’s been studying film, he’s been meeting with coaches, he’s had defensive coordinators come down from the college ranks, from the NFL ranks, he’s studied the 3-4, he’s studied the 4-3, he’s studied the spread offense, he’s worked a lot of these kids coming out in the draft – I think he’s going to do a terrific job. He’s got a good football team to work with. Jon hasn’t really been out of it. People make a big deal about the fact that he’s been out of football for eight or nine years. I disagree. I think he’s been grinding, he’s been working, and I think he’s well-rested, he’s prepared, he’s motivated, he feels there’s some unfinished business to take care of in Oakland – I think he’s going to do a terrific job with the Raiders.”
Gruden asked Gannon to be the Raiders’ quarterbacks coach, but Gannon declined.
“I have great respect for the coaching profession,” Gannon said. “I know what it takes. It’s a major lifestyle commitment and change, to be able to spend those hours. I love working 40 hours a week. I’m not crazy about working 80 hours a week – and that’s really what it requires with Jon. I’m not exaggerating. He puts in so many hours and expects the same from his coaching staff. I’ve got family, I’ve got some daughters, one is a college athlete, I want to see them play – it would have been very difficult. For that reason, I just decided it wasn’t for me.”