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Did Bill Callahan "sabatoge" SB XXXVII?

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This story's been getting a lot of press ever since Jerry Rice threw his hat in the ring of conspirators. I have no idea if there's any further meat on the bones, since it's been so long since this particular game has crossed anyone's minds.

Tim Brown was the first and Jerry followed suit in accusing Callahan of sabotaging the original run-heavy gameplan in favor of an out aerial assault.

“We get our game plan for victory on Monday, and the game plan says we’re gonna run the ball,” Brown said Saturday on SiriusXM NFL Radio, which provided us with the audio. “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.”

Both Rice and Brown implied that this sudden change likely led to Barrett Robbins infamously abandoning the squad. Everyone was apparently aware of Robbins' emotional instability.

Discuss.

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The conspiracy angle of this would be more believable if Callahan hadn't proven his incompetence at Nebraska.

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It sounds like Callahan finally got the sense that Tampa knew their entire offensive scheme because he was too lazy to change anything, and he panicked at the last minute. No matter if Oakland had stuck with a scheme that had them running the ball, or if they aired it out, they were still going to get killed in that game. That game was the worst case scenario for the Raiders. They couldn't have pulled any worse of an opponent.

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It's absurd on its face.

Tim Brown is obviously embittered, but shame on Jerry Rice for playing along.

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I was under the impression that the gameplan changed because of Robbins' disappearance. If that's the case, this ESPN creating a non-story and developing it as a story (sorry for contributing to the sudden onset of increasing ESPN 'bashing').

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Its two weeks to the Super Bowl and ESPN has gotten tired of Manti Te'o.

The bottom line is Callahan was a terrible coach, and never changed anything after Gruden left. Come game time the Bucs saw the same offense they praticed against and it was all she wrote.

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The conspiracy angle of this would be more believable if Callahan hadn't proven his incompetence at Nebraska.

I was about to say, making Bill Callahan your coach is sabotage enough, really.

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The conspiracy angle of this would be more believable if Callahan hadn't proven his incompetence at Nebraska.

Halon's razor. Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

Nobody ever said Bill Callahan was a great NFL coach, or even somebody that had any business being the head coach of a team in the first place. I doubt any NFL team would even grant him an interview at this point for a head coach opening, not that I'm sure he would even be interested in it if it was offered to him.

if you want to talk about sabotage again ask yourself why Al Davis would be more concerned about sticking it to Jon Gruden on his way out the door then trying to win football games? For the team the Raiders had at that time, they should have had the pick of the litter with candidates. They could have brought in Mike Ditka, Jim Mora, Bill Parcells, George Seifert all for the right amount of money, a top college coach or assistant hire, or just done what virtually everyone else would have done in that spot and just pay Jon Gruden what he was asking for and stick with what was working.

If your looking for someone to blame, blame the guy that got rid of a perfectly good head coach in exchange for one of the most incompetent NFL head coaches of the last 20 years.

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Yeah, because Callahan didn't want to win the Super Bowl.

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Nobody ever said Bill Callahan was a great NFL coach, or even somebody that had any business being the head coach of a team in the first place. I doubt any NFL team would even grant him an interview at this point for a head coach opening, not that I'm sure he would even be interested in it if it was offered to him.

Hey, if Dallas does well in the next couple of years....

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Warren Sapp gave an interview in which he said he couldn't believe the way the Raiders operated. He was on the sideline and a teammate said something like, "Watch this, dog, we're throwing long," and sure enough that was the next play. Sapp asked the guy how he knew and the player said Davis had called down from his box and told whoever the OC was to run a deep pass. My point being it sounds like basically nobody took a leak at the Raider facility unless Al Davis okayed it, so if the plan got changed, he, not Callahan, was probably behind it.

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The Raiders once a model franchise has become a complete joke.

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Warren Sapp gave an interview in which he said he couldn't believe the way the Raiders operated. He was on the sideline and a teammate said something like, "Watch this, dog, we're throwing long," and sure enough that was the next play. Sapp asked the guy how he knew and the player said Davis had called down from his box and told whoever the OC was to run a deep pass. My point being it sounds like basically nobody took a leak at the Raider facility unless Al Davis okayed it, so if the plan got changed, he, not Callahan, was probably behind it.

I think its very well possible something like that may have happened.

You can't tell me Al Davis would have been happy with a run heavy attack heading into the Super Bowl, no matter what you told him in terms of how successful it might be. Certainly would have had the power to do something like that at the last minute no matter how many people might object.

Who knows what went down. To me Super Bowl XXXVII just represented the final nail in the coffin for a team with an outdated philosophy on the game, that had been on a steady decline for nearly two decades. Given how out of touch they were with the rest of the league even by the early 90's, I'm surprised they had as much success as they did after Tom Flores left.

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Either he has a book coming out soon or he wants to get people talking about him since HOF selections are imminent. Just has to be.

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I would not be surprised if Al made the decision from above. And I would not blame players for being unhappy (and even still hold some bitterness today). But you're going to have to show me a lot more before I'll believe anyone threw that game.

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Yeah, because Callahan didn't want to win the Super Bowl.

I think that's the other aspect of it.

If Callahan stood to make $50 million by losing, then I would say you might have something.

But to say that he essentially threw the game just because the opposing head coach was his friend and because he had issues with the person signing his checks? That I have a hard time believing.

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