Richard Joseph Gannon (born December 20, 1965 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is a old retired football quarterback, who achieved the most of his success late in his career with the Oakland Raiders in the National Football League (NFL).
Gannon attended Saint Joseph's Preparatory and won three varsity letters each in football and crew, and twice in basketball. Gannon exploded his senior season winning first team All-City as a punter and quarterback. He threw for 1,567 yards his senior season for saint josephs.
Gannon attended the University of Delaware,was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon, and played under Tubby Raymond and ran Raymond's Wing-T offense. When he led the Raiders to Super Bowl XXXVII in 2003, he was the first player from the University of Delaware to go to the Super Bowl.
New England Patriots
He was selected in the 4th round (98th overall) of the 1987 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots, who envisioned converting him to a defensive back. Gannon balked at the idea, and he was quickly traded to the Minnesota Vikings. After two years of playing sparingly, Gannon became the Vikings' starting quarterback in 1990, displacing incumbent Wade Wilson, until he was passed over for Sean Salisbury towards the end of the 1992 season.
In 1993 Gannon was released and signed with the Washington Redskins after coming off rotator cuff surgery. Gannon started three games for Washington and was released at season's end.
Kansas City Chiefs
Following a hiatus from football for the 1994 season, he signed with the Kansas City Chiefs in 1995. For two years he served as a backup to Steve Bono. In 1997 a quarterback controversy was created when the Gannon-led Chiefs excelled in the absence of the injured Elvis Grbac. In the playoffs, coach Marty Schottenheimer elected to play Grbac instead of Gannon and the Chiefs lost 14-10. The two ended up splitting snaps in 1998, after Grbac was injured in Week 1.
In February 1999 he was signed as a free agent by the Oakland Raiders. He excelled in Jon Gruden's west coast offense and was voted to the Pro Bowl in his first year as a Raider, the first of four straight selections. In 2001 and 2002, he won the Pro Bowl MVP award consecutively, a feat achieved by no other NFL player. Gannon won the NFL Most Valuable Player Award after a record-setting 2002 season, throwing for 4,689 yards and 26 touchdowns, which helped the Raiders advance to Super Bowl XXXVII. He led the league in with 418 completions on 618 attempts.
In the Super Bowl, Gannon threw a Super Bowl record 5 interceptions, three of which were run back for touchdowns, in a 48-21 rout by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs' stellar defense was aided by the fact that their new head coach was Jon Gruden, who was able to impart to the Buccaneers almost perfect knowledge of the Raiders' playbook, as well as Gannon's mannerisms and even some audibles which Oakland coach Bill Callahan had left unchanged since Gruden left.
Rich's 2003 season was ended by a shoulder injury in Week 7, after a 2-5 start. A serious neck injury in 2004 effectively ended his career. Gannon was hurt when he scrambled, and slid into a helmet-to-helmet collision with Tampa Bay linebacker Derrick Brooks in Week 3.
When the Raiders signed Kerry Collins prior to the 2004 season, some thought that Gannon would be cut in favor of the strong armed Collins, whom skeptics thought was a better fit in new coach Norv Turner's vertical offense. Gannon not only kept his starting QB spot, but thrived. He threw for 305 yards in the season opener against Pittsburgh, including a 40 yard touchdown strike to Doug Gabriel, the Raiders nearly won the game over a Steelers team that finished the 2004 season with 15 victories. The Raiders were a competitive team with Gannon as their QB, going 2-1 when he started and 3-10 after his injury.
On August 6, 2005, Gannon officially retired from football and joined CBS television as an NFL analyst. He retired as an Oakland Raider and was inducted into the University of Delaware athletics hall of fame the same year.
Gannon joined CBS Sports as an NFL game analyst in August 2005.
Bill Brown, former Minnesota Vikings running back, is his father-in-law. Rich is married to Shelley Gannon. He has two daughters Alexis and Danielle. Danielle suffers from Celiac Disease, a chronic digestive disorder, and cannot eat glutens.
- Pro Bowl selections - 1999, 2000, 2001 & 2002
- Pro Bowl MVP - 2000 & 2001
- NFL MVP - 2002
- Voted into University of Delaware Athletics Hall of Fame in 2005
- Most completions, season - 418 (2002 --record broken by Drew Brees during the 2007 season)
- Most 300+ yard passing games, season - 10 (2002)
- Most consecutive 300+ yard passing games - 6 (2002; tied with Steve Young, 1998 and Kurt Warner, 2000)
- Single-game record for most consecutive completions - 21 (at Denver 2002 --record broken by Mark Brunell during the 2006-2007 season)
- Most completions in a non-overtime game - 43 (vs. Pittsburgh 2002)
Raiders Franchise Records
- Most completions, career - 1533
- Most completions, season - 418 (2002)
- Most attempts, season - 618 (2002)
- Most passing yards, season - 4689 (2002)
- Highest completion percentage, career (min. 500 attempts) - 62.6%
- Highest completion percentage, season (min. 200 attempts) - 67.6% (2002)
- Highest passer rating, career (min. 500 attempts) - 91.2
- Most 300-yard passing games - 20