Rich Gannon was the NFL MVP last season and also threatened Dan Marino's single-season record for passing yardage for much of the season. Gannon, however, is as likely – if not more so – to mention his nightmarish Super Bowl performance, when he threw five interceptions, first.
Look for Gannon to rebound from that performance because. Perhaps no other quarterback in the NFL is more tailor-made for a Raiders' offense that has the playbook volume that can rival the New York City phonebook.
Gannon may not have the strongest arm but he is intelligent and gets the ball to his receivers in the right place. He is also very adept at calling audibles at the line of scrimmage to get the Raiders into the right play. Gannon still has the mobility to buy time despite being at an age when most quarterbacks are physically declining.
Gannon has not missed a start due to injury since becoming a Raider in 1999. Oakland hopes that trend will continue this season.
Third-year man Marques Tuiasosopo figures to get an ample amount of reps in training camp and exhibition games. It is unclear, however, to truly gauge Tuiasosopo's skills because he has never played in a regular season game with the contest in the balance.
The Raiders resigned Rick Mirer, last season's No. 3 quarterback. Mirer's career has not been what most people envisioned when Seattle selected him No. 2 overall in the 1993 NFL draft. Mirer, however, is a good safety net in case Gannon gets injured and Tuiasosopo struggles.
Vince D'Adamo can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com