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Saturday, September 26, 2009
Raiders need to focus on winning, not former QB

By Bill Williamson
ESPN.com


Posted by ESPN.com’s Bill Williamson


The Oakland Raiders ultimately made the right decision after being criticized by former quarterback Rich Gannon.

Oakland originally decided to ban Gannon, who won a league MVP with Oakland and is now a CBS broadcaster, from its building. Gannon is working Sunday’s game between Denver and the Raiders in Oakland. As a routine, broadcasters visit the home facility prior to the game for production meetings. Oakland decided to ban Gannon after he made several critical remarks about the team.

Oakland later decided to allow the former Silver and Black star in its building. That was a good call. Banning Gannon would do nothing but put more negative attention on the Raiders, who are working hard to improve after a six-year dry spell.

The Raiders pride themselves on maintaining close relationships with their former players. They have a strong alumni group and often honor former players. If a former player (especially one as accomplished as Gannon) strays from the Raider Way, I can understand why the team would feel hurt and betrayed by Gannon.

But the Raiders need to take the high road or, better yet, ignore Gannon’s comments. The Raiders are showing progress on the field. They need to focus on that and not give anyone reason to believe they are focused on petty issues. Bashing Gannon won’t help the Raiders win games and that’s all they need to be focused on, no matter how hurt they may be by their former star.