Getting ready for the Super Bowl is like no other. Not only are the stakes raised and the pressure is at an all-time high for the game, but also there’s an extra week between games that can throw players and coaches out of rhythm and there’s a media circus that can serve as a distraction. Make no mistake about it, preparing for the championship is no easy task.
The Las Vegas Raiders know this first hand as the organization has participated in five Super Bowls and Rich Gannon, the starting quarterback for the Raiders’ last appearance during the 2002 season, spoke to The 33rd Team and gave his thoughts on the big game:
“There’s a difference between a playoff game and the Super Bowl. Nerves might be a little different and there’s a lot of distractions pre-game before the Super Bowl. The preparation is also different. You have two weeks to prepare for the Super Bowl, which entails receiving an inordinate amount of information. In other words, you’ll have a 17 game breakdown and a breakdown by division. It’s very extensive.
Whereas in the earlier rounds of the playoffs, the coaching staff won’t know who you’re playing until the games are done. It’s always going to be a grind regardless of the game, but you won’t look at all 17 games unless you’re preparing for the Super Bowl.
All of this is what makes the playoffs so gripping. From the optimism within the building to the stakes of single-elimination, this is the best time of the year.”
Granted, Gannon didn’t exactly have his best performance in that infamous contest in Raiders’ history. He threw five interceptions, three of which were returned for touchdowns and the Silver and Black lost by four possessions.
However, to the quarterback’s credit, more recent reports shined light that Bill Callahan, the Raiders head coach at the time, changed the game plan just two days before the game. So maybe that’s the bigger key to preparing for the Super Bowl; once you come up with a plan, don’t change it two days before you’re supposed to execute it.
The 33rd Team also interviewed Jeff Saturday, former center for the Indianapolis Colts and Green Bay Packers and current ESPN analyst, and Hugh Millen, a nine-year NFL quarterback, for the piece.
In Other Raiders Links:
- Quotes on Cliff Branch: “He was a guy that once he got in the open nobody was going to catch him...We knew once he had open ground ahead of him it was going to be a touchdown,” Jim Mora on the soon-to-be Hall of Famer via The Ralphie Report.
- Raiders parting ways with Trey Scott: NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero tweeted that the new regime is moving quickly to overhaul the scouting department and the former assistant director of player personnel, who spent over a decade with the organization, won’t be returning.
- Three Round Mock Draft: Marcus Johnson sends a guard, wide receiver and safety to Las Vegas in his latest mock.
- Chris Olave scouting report: the Ohio State wideout has been linked to the Silver and Black early on in the draft season and might be the player they take with the 22nd pick of the draft, find out what he brings to the table.