The Raiders have remained steadfast in their belief that Gannon is still the man. So, instead of the dreaded "C" word, as in "controversy," people are now inquiring about the "D" word, as in "deep ball."
Both Gannon and Collins had success completing long
passes in the Raiders 21-20 loss to the Dallas Cowboys
Saturday night even though both had less-than-smashing
overall stats. Gannon completed 7-of-15 passes for 92
yards while Collins was 1-of-5 for 89 yards, a
touchdown pass to Doug Gabriel. Like Collins, Gannon
had success completing deep passes as two of his
completions went for over 20 yards. Jerry Rice caught
a 23-yard pass from Gannon while Jerry Porter hauled
in a 41-yard.
Those types of passes were hardly Gannon's forte in
the past but his sometimes abrasive personality
becomes evident when people ask him about completing
"Whatever the play is that gets called, you just try
to make the right decision," Gannon said. "People want
to make a big deal about throwing the ball down the
field. We're going to throw the ball down the field.
Let's get that out in the open. We're going to take
our shots. It's not going to be an aerial fest. We're
going to be smart about it. I think a lot is being
made about whether or not we're going to be able to
throw the ball down the ball."
"You know what, this is football," Gannon said
somewhat defensively. "It's football. You take shots.
Go back ad watch the films. I've been in the league
for 17 years, I can throw the ball down the field as
well as anyone. It's kind of ridiculous to be
answering questions about throwing the ball down the
In a 33-30 win over San Francisco, both Gannon and
Collins shined. So unless Gannon totally stinks or
Collins plays lights out, it's hard to imagine any
other scenario than Gannon being the starting
quarterback. Collins' 89-yard touchdown pass looks
nice on the stat sheet but 1-of-5 will not get it
"It was a big play but the other part of my night was
average at best," Collins said. "It didn't seem like
we really got going when I was in there. It just
seemed like we weren't I sync and in rhythm."
On the other half of the coin, the Raiders' reliance
on the long ball creates a different situation than
the short-to-intermediate approach that former coaches
Jon Gruden and Bill Callahan preferred.
"That's classic Norv," Raiders running back Tyrone Wheatley said referring to current Raiders head coach
Norv Turner. "When you have guys like Alvis Whitted,
Doug Gabriel, Jerry Porter, that can go get it, it
makes it easy to throw it up there. You just have to
get guys one-on-one. In the past, you didn't want the
defense to blitz, now you hope they blitz."
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