The Buccaneers will be having a very special guest on Tuesday, May 16 when the team's OTAs (organized team activities) resume. Former Oakland Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon is expected to attend at the request of his good friend and former head coach Jon Gruden, who coach Gannon from 1999-2001.
"We're going to have Rich Gannon out here on the 16th to help out our quarterbacks," Gruden told PewterReport.com at Tampa Bay's rookie mini-camp.
Gannon, who lost Super Bowl XXXVII with the Raiders at the hands of the Buccaneers during the 2002 season, turned into a Pro Bowl quarterback after mastering Gruden's offense and will help tutor Tampa Bay's very young stable of quarterbacks. The Bucs' collection of quarterbacks is among the youngest in the league, with Chris Simms (12 starts), Luke McCown (four starts), Tim Rattay (16 starts) and Bruce Gradkowski (zero starts) combining for just 32 NFL starts.
Ironically, Gannon's playing career was ended against the Buccaneers in 2004 during a nationally televised Sunday night game in Oakland. A collision with Tampa Bay linebacker Derrick Brooks in the third game of the 2004 season fractured a vertebrae in Gannon's neck.
Gannon retired from football last year and has worked at NFL Network. He will begin his NFL color commentary career next year with CBS.
Last year, the Buccaneers had legendary Hall of Fame head coach Bill Walsh, the mastermind of the West Coast offense, visit the team during the OTAs. In 2004, Hall of Fame defensive end Deacon Jones met with the Buccaneers in the offseason.
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