Brown-Rice accuse Callahan of Throwing SB XXXVII
Now I realize the first question everyone has is "Why is this in the Bears forum?"
Read the articles. The answer will appear.
Jerry Rice agrees with Tim Brown: Bill Callahan sabotaged us
Posted by Michael David Smith on January 22, 2013, 4:59 PM EST
The bizarre controversy over whether former Raiders coach Bill Callahan sabotaged the team before Super Bowl XXXVII by changing the game plan at the last minute has taken another surprising turn: Jerry Rice has come forward to say he sides with his former teammate Tim Brown in believing that Callahan wanted to lose.
Rice, who was on the Raiders team that lost Super Bowl XXXVII to the Buccaneers, said on ESPN that Callahan disliked his players, disliked his team, and was willing to let his old boss, then-Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden, beat him.
“For some reason — and I don’t know why — Bill Callahan did not like me,” Rice said. “In a way, maybe because he didn’t like the Raiders, he decided, ‘Maybe we should sabotage this a little bit and let Jon Gruden go out and win this one.’”
For Rice, a universally respected player who was named in a poll of experts conducted by NFL Network as the greatest player in NFL history, to say that he believes one of his former coaches actively wanted to lose a Super Bowl is shocking. ESPN’s Trey Wingo stopped Rice and asked him if he realized the magnitude of the accusation that Callahan once threw the Super Bowl. Rice said he understands the weight of his words.
“Yeah, I know exactly what I’m saying,” Rice said.
Until Brown made his bombshell accusation on Saturday, the biggest controversy to come out of Super Bowl XXXVII was the fact that Raiders center Barrett Robbins abandoned the team the day before the game. Rice blames Callahan for that, too: According to Rice, Robbins was so demoralized by Callahan announcing in a team meeting that he was going to call mostly pass plays that Robbins decided to bail on the Super Bowl.
“With Barrett, he was frustrated, like, ‘You cannot do this to us at the last second.’ Maybe that’s why he decided to not show up,” Rice said.
I have all the respect in the world for Jerry Rice, but blaming Callahan for Robbins’ actions is ridiculous. Robbins is a man who has struggled with mental illness for most of his life. A man who struggles with mental illness is battling demons much more profound than a coach changing his game plan. Does Rice also blame Callahan for the legal and personal problems that have plagued Robbins in the decade since his NFL career ended?
Rice also doesn’t seem to accurately remember how that Super Bowl went down. In his ESPN appearance, Rice said Callahan called on the Raiders “to throw the ball over 60 times.” But the Raiders didn’t throw the ball 60 times or even 50 times. They threw 44 times — exactly three more times than they had thrown the ball the week before, when they won the AFC Championship Game.
And that brings us to the strangest part of all this criticism of Callahan: Brown and Rice are insisting that Callahan sabotaged the team by implementing a pass-first offensive game plan. But the Raiders had been a passing team all season: They led the NFL in passing yards that season while ranking 18th in the league in rushing yards and 23rd in the league in rushing attempts. In other words, Callahan called a lot of passes in the Super Bowl because it was calling a lot of passes that had led them to the Super Bowl in the first place.
For Brown and Rice to suggest that Callahan was throwing the Super Bowl because he continued to call a lot of passes just as he had all season long is absolutely ridiculous.
Tim Brown says Callahan “sabotaged” Super Bowl
A week after he questioned the Bears’ hiring of former Raiders’ offensive coordinator Marc Trestman as head coach, Tim Brown is saying that former head coach Bill Callahan sabotaged Oakland’s chances in Super Bowl XXXVIII.
The former Raiders receiver blames Callahan for the 48-21 loss to the Buccaneers and not center Barret Robbins, who disappeared for the weekend to party in Tijuana.
“We get our game plan for victory on Monday, and the game plan says we’re gonna run the ball,” Brown told SiriusXM NFL Radio. “We averaged 340 (pounds) on the offensive line, they averaged 280 [on the defensive line]. We’re all happy with that, everybody is excited. [We] tell Charlie Garner, ‘Look, you’re not gonna get too many carries, but at the end of the day we’re gonna get a victory. Tyrone Wheatley, Zack Crockett, let’s get ready to blow this thing up.’”
According to Brown, coach Bill Callahan then “blew this thing up” on the Friday before the Super Bowl, changing the game plan from a run-heavy attack to an intent to “throw the ball 60 times.”
“We all called it sabotage . . . because Callahan and [Tampa Bay coach Jon] Gruden were good friends,” Brown said. “And Callahan had a big problem with the Raiders, you know, hated the Raiders. You know, only came because Gruden made him come. Literally walked off the field on us a couple of times during the season when he first got there, the first couple years. So really he had become someone who was part of the staff but we just didn’t pay him any attention. Gruden leaves, he becomes the head coach. . . . It’s hard to say that the guy sabotaged the Super Bowl. You know, can you really say that? That can be my opinion, but I can’t say for a fact that that’s what his plan was, to sabotage the Super Bowl. He hated the Raiders so much that he would sabotage the Super Bowl so his friend can win the Super Bowl. That’s hard to say, because you can’t prove it.
“But the facts are what they are, that less than 36 hours before the game we changed our game plan. And we go into that game absolutely knowing that we have no shot. That the only shot we had if Tampa Bay didn’t show up.”
Brown even implied Callahan’s actions pushed Robbins over the edge.
“Barret Robbins begged Coach Callahan, ‘Do not do this to me. I don’t have time to make my calls, to get my calls ready. You can’t do this to me on Friday. We haven’t practiced full speed, we can’t get this done.’ …
“Those are the facts of what happened Super Bowl week. So our ire wasn’t towards Barret Robbins, it was towards Bill Callahan. Because we feel as if he wouldn’t have did what he did, then Barret wouldn’t have done what he did.
“Now, should Barret have manned up and tried to do it? Absolutely. But everybody knew Barret was unstable anyway. So to put him in that situation — not that he was putting him in that situation — but for that decision to be made without consulting the players the Friday before the Super Bowl? I played 27 years of football. The coaches never changed the game plan the Friday before the game. I’m not trying to point fingers at anybody here, all I’m saying is those are the facts of what happened. So people look at Barret and they say all these things, but every player in that locker room will tell you, ‘You’d better talk to Bill Callahan.’ Because if not for Coach Callahan, I don’t think we’re in that situation.”
I wasn’t covering the team then, but Brown’s charges sound absurd. Late owner Al Davis was heavily involved in the game plans, and wouldn’t have sat by and watched Callahan “sabotage” the players. Could be that Brown likes seeing his name in headlines, or that he’s bitter about not getting into the Hall of Fame, and likely falling short again this year. He obviously hates Callahan.
Okay so if the mods still want this to go under the Rivals section, I have no heartburn with that. Just wanted to point out the connection.