Saturday, June 17, 2006

Gannon Visits...Just to Teach

Coach Mike McCarthy invited former NFL QB and MVP Rich Gannon to the team's OTAs on Friday. Not to work with Brett Favre, who had been excused from the practice, but rather to share some wisdom with the young QBs on the squad. That would be Aaron Rodgers, Ingle Martin, Tom Arth and Brian Wrobel. Why would Gannon agree to do this? Well, for one thing, he is replacing Bill Mass as the analyst for the Packers' exhibition games this season, so some firsthand knowledge of these backups will no doubt help in the booth. But more importantly, he credits McCarthy with resurrecting his career when they worked together with the Kansas City Chiefs from 1995-'98.

In a TV interview, Gannon said he told Rodgers to practice with the goal of going 7 for 7 in passing drills. He said he encouraged Rodgers to put some pressure on Brett, "Not that Brett's still not the guy, because he is," Gannon said. Gannon said it was more a case of Rodgers demanding more of himself, as if he was the starter. "It will help him, and it will help Brett," Gannon said. Gannon indicated that he was impressed with Rodger's physical abilities; it's the mental part of the game he has to work with.

Gannon can certainly share what it takes to stick and succeed in the NFL, having bounced around for his first 10 years in the league. He finally got his game together with McCarthy at KC before heading off to Oakland where he achieved Pro Bowl status and won his MVP beating out, yes, our own Brett Favre. Gannon was definitely a late bloomer, always with the potential. McCarthy helped him to achieve it. On Friday, Gannon provided a little payback to his former mentor by sharing some of his insights and professionalism with the young QBs. Nice.