Posted January 23, 2013 on
AP on Fox
Former Oakland coach Bill Callahan has denied allegations made by two of his former players that he ''sabotaged'' the Raiders in their Super Bowl loss to Tampa Bay 10 years ago.
Former Raiders receivers Tim Brown and Jerry Rice both said in recent interviews they believe Callahan undermined his own team in the Super Bowl in 2003 because of his close friendship with Tampa Bay coach Jon Gruden by altering the game plan less than two days before Oakland's 48-21 loss.
''While I fully understand a competitive professional football player's disappointment when a game's outcome doesn't go his team's way, I am shocked, saddened and outraged by Tim Brown's allegations and Jerry Rice's support of those allegations made through various media outlets over the last 24 hours,'' Callahan said Tuesday in a statement. ''To leave no doubt, I categorically and unequivocally deny the sum and substance of their allegations.''
The hubbub over a game played a decade ago began Monday when Brown said on Sirius XM Radio that he believed Callahan altered the game plan because of his close ties to Gruden, the former Raiders coach who hired Callahan, and because Callahan hated the Raiders.
''We all called it sabotage, because Callahan and Gruden was good friends, and Callahan had a big problem with the Raiders, hated the Raiders, and only came because Gruden made him come,'' Brown said.
While many of Brown's teammates, including quarterback Rich Gannon, came to Callahan's defense on radio and Twitter on Tuesday, Rice sided with Brown that Callahan's decision to shift the game plan from a run-oriented attack to a pass-heavy offense after a week of practice was done to hurt the team.
''I was very surprised that he waited till the last second and I think a lot of the players they were surprised also so in a way maybe because he didn't like the Raiders he decided `Hey look maybe we should sabotage just a little bit and let Jon Gruden go out and win this one,''' Rice told ESPN.
Both Rice and Brown also said the decision to alter the plan less than two days before the game might have contributed to starting center Barret Robbins leaving the team that Friday night to go party in Tijuana. Robbins missed a team meeting and walkthrough and was suspended for the game. He was hospitalized and diagnosed as bipolar.
Former Raiders offensive lineman Frank Middleton said in a phone interview that he didn't believe Callahan's change in game plan contributed to Robbins' problems or that Callahan purposely lost the game even if there were bad feelings between the coach and players.
''Callahan hated us,'' Middleton said. ''He didn't want to see a lot of us succeed because of who we were. I do believe Callahan had bad feelings against us. But to say he threw the game, I can't say that.''
Middleton acknowledged that the plan the team used in the game was different than what was practiced but said he didn't know if that was because Robbins had left the team and the Raiders were forced to use backup center Adam Treu.
The Raiders threw a then club-record 619 passes in the 2002 season but originally planned to run the ball more in the Super Bowl to take advantage of Tampa Bay's undersized defensive front. But Oakland fell behind early in the game and had 49 pass plays and a season-low 11 runs.
Gannon threw five interceptions, including three returned for touchdowns, in the lopsided loss.
Callahan, currently the offensive line coach for the Dallas Cowboys, said he tried to win the game and suggestions to the contrary were ''ludicrous and defamatory.''
''Any suggestion that I would undermine the integrity of the sport that I love and dedicated my life to, or dishonor the commitment I made to our players, coaches and fans is flat out wrong,'' he said. ''I think it would be in the best interests of all, including the game America loves, that these allegations be retracted immediately.''
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Super Bowl XXXVII was known for being Jon Gruden‘s old team — the Raiders — against his new team — the Buccaneers. In the public’s eye, Gruden couldn’t go wrong with the results of the game. Either he built a Super Bowl winner, or he coached a Super Bowl winner. But if Tim Brown‘s allegations are true, it’s possible he really couldn’t go wrong with the results of...
Tim Brown caught a lot of long bombs as a receiver for the Oakland Raiders. On Monday, he dropped a bomb on Bill Callahan, his former coach and current Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator during an interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio.
Brown said Callahan essentially threw Super Bowl XXXVII by changing the offensive game plan the Friday before the game.
Brown, a Heisman Trophy winner...
It’s been ten years since the Tampa Bay Buccaneers faced off against the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII, a game that saw Tampa Bay pick off league MVP Rich Gannon five times, returning three for scores as the Bucs ran away with a 48-21 victory. Jon Gruden was the Raiders’ coach from 1998-01 and [...]
A curious story has surfaced on the 10th anniversary of Super Bowl XXXVII, a game that featured the Oakland Raiders taking on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Buccaneers completed dismantled the Raiders 48-21 on their way to the franchise’s first World Championship. Did the Oakland Raiders coaching staff sabotage their game plan in order to hand the Super Bowl to the Buccaneers?
Back when the 2002 season started, Steve and I discussed the prospect of the Buccaneers playing the Raiders in the Super Bowl. You see, that was the season that Jon Gruden was traded to the Bucs. Both teams were pretty talented going into the season, but if the teams played each other in the Super Bowl, that would just be a little too perfect, right?
This led to a comparison of the...
Recently former Raiders wide receiver Tim Brown said that his old Raiders head coach sabotaged the team’s chances for winning Super Bowl XXXVII. This started a huge media blitz to see if there was any truth to what Brown had said.
Tim Brown said, “It’s hard to say Callahan sabotaged the Super Bowl. You know, can you really say that? That can be my opinion, but I can’t say...
America’s Team has decided to shake some things up and put Bill Callahan in charge of play calling, but are they putting a man in charge that sabotaged his own team on the biggest stage of sports? Yes, according to two of the most respected NFL receivers of all time - Tim Brown and Jerry Rice.
Earlier today former Raiders receiver Tim Brown said that the new Cowboys play caller...
It seems that the 2002 Raiders aren’t exactly seeing eye to eye 10 years after they made, and lost, the Super Bowl.
On Monday, Tim Brown told SiriusXM NFL Radio that he believed Bill Callahan sabotaged Super Bowl XXXVII because he didn’t like the Raiders’ organization, and because he was friends with Jon Gruden, the head coach of the Buccaneers, Oakland’s opponent in the...
Three days after Tim Brown suggested that former Oakland Raiders coach Bill Callahan sabotaged his team in 2003, preventing them from winning Super Bowl 37, Brown's former teammate, Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice, supported Brown's comments.
On Tuesday, Rice said on ESPN that he was surprised when Callahan changed the team's offensive gameplan three days before...
The Oakland Raiders entered Super Bowl 37 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with one of the best offenses and football and real shot to win that game.
The Raiders were subsequently blown out 48-21 that day, and now some 10 years later according to Pro Football Talk, Hall Of Fame finalist Tim Brown is putting former Raiders coach Bill Callahan on blast, and suggesting that his former...
DALLAS-- Former Heisman trophy winner and NFL star Tim Brown dropped a bombshell of a story Monday on Sirius Radio, but he insists he's not breaking news. Apparently Brown has felt for years that current Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Bill Callahan sabotaged Super Bowl XXXVII as head coach of the Oakland Raiders, in part because of his disdain for the organization.