Rich Gannon On State Of The Raiders: ‘I can’t say that I’m surprised by anything I see or hear that comes out of that place.’

September 8, 2009 – 11:23 am by Michael Bean

The Raiders are a mess. Yes, yes, they recently traded for All-Pro defensive lineman Richard Seymour, who not only is a heckuva player but a great guy and veteran presence as well. They should be a little bit better in the immediate and intermediate future. But one body along the defensive line can’t save a franchise in disrepair. The Raiders will need unexpected consistent contributions from a boatload of other players if they’re going to get the ship righted in 2009 and beyond. Furthermore, who are we kidding really? The sad-sack organization that Al Davis has slowly but surely run in to the ground this past decade likely isn’t going to see better days until Mr. Davis surrenders control of the team, or at least control over player personnel and other important fiscal and strategic decisions. Let’s hear from former quarterback Rich Gannon, who helped guide the Raiders to the Super Bowl earlier this decade, talk about the state of the once-proud Raiders franchise.

He joined KHTK in Sacramento to talk about how painful it is to see what’s happening out in Oakland, how he’s not surprised by the dysfunctional demise of the organization and about how there was a lack of leadership there even when he was guiding the Raiders to a Super Bowl berth. It’s a great listen about just how bad it’s become in the East Bay.

On if it’s tough for him to see what’s going on in Oakland, the team he most associates his playing career with:

“Yeah, no, listen. I want nothing more than to see them do well. It’s just hard for me to watch. And I can’t say honestly that I’m surprised. I can’t look at it and say well gee, that’s a shocker to me. It’s really not. I can’t say that I’m surprised by anything I see or hear that comes out of that place. I just think that – listen – I’ve been criticized for being what some would refer to as overly critical, but listen, it’s clear when you look at the football team, there’s not enough…they certainly have players, but you look at each level of the organization, I just don’t know if there’s enough leadership there and I think that’s what holds them back.”

On how the Raiders organization incredibly seems to be getting worse year in and year out:

“All you have to do is look around the league and see teams that are successful and I think they have leadership at every level. I’m talking about the owner, I’m talking about the general manager. I’m talking about player personnel. I’m talking about the coaching staff and I’m talking about the players. I just think it’s really important when you put together a team certainly to keep that in mind. But also, in each of those meeting rooms – I’m talking about a defensive line, the linebackers, the secondary, the offensive line – you have to have a dominant personality, a leader that is going to make a difference, who is going to demand excellence from his teammates. And again, when I was there, that was the hardest part. That was a struggle for me. Listen, I just wanted to come to work, do my job, focus in on what I had to do, but I felt like I had to worry about what everybody else was doing so we could accomplish our goals. And that’s what could be frustrating. Because listen, it’s tough enough business, but when you’re having to worry about guys being on time, or guys showing up, or guys knowing what they’re supposed to do. Then it becomes – then it’s not fun anymore.”

Listen to Rich Gannon on KHTK in Sacramento with Grant Napear & Mike Lamb

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