Tim Brown: Bill Callahan wanted to lose the Super Bowl

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Former Raiders wide receiver Tim Brown is doubling down on his stunning allegation that his old coach Bill Callahan purposely lost Super Bowl XXXVII.

Appearing on Pro Football Talk on NBC Sports Network, Brown was asked by Erik Kuselias if he believes Callahan was just incompetent, or if he believes Callahan was actively trying to lose the Super Bowl. Brown chose the latter.

“I can’t say the man was incompetent because he was far from that,” Brown said. “You only leave me with one other choice so I’ll have to go ahead and take the latter of those two choices.”

Brown said that after preparing on Monday through Thursday before the Super Bowl for a run-first offense, Callahan sprung a new game plan on his players, a pass-first game plan that, according to Brown, Callahan knew would cost the Raiders the game.

“Why would you change the game plan so close to the game if you know the negative repercussions of that could cost you the game?” Brown said.

These allegations by Brown — which were bolstered today by another player on that team, Jerry Rice — are stunning. So far, Callahan hasn’t responded. But he needs to speak out and give his side of this story. Because he’s being accused by two of his greatest players of taking the Silver and Black to the Super Bowl, and then committing the greatest sporting scandal since the 1919 Black Sox.

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77 responses to “Tim Brown: Bill Callahan wanted to lose the Super Bowl

  1. If they ran the ball significantly more during the game-as the original game plan called for – then Gannon wouldn’t have chucked the ball around the yard so much, and most likely wouldn’t’ have had as many INT’s.

  2. Nobody wants to lose the Super Bowl. If anything, someone with a nice suit and hat met him thursday evening and made him an offer that he could not refuse. No other explanation really make much sense.

  3. I find it very hard to believe that any player or coach would sabotage the Super Bowl. Just saying

  4. take everything that TBrown and JRice said .. then add in the fact that the playcall terminology was NOT changed going into the SB against the previous coach who created that terminology .. sure doesn’t seem to be the actions of a coach trying to win.

    common man .. did NOT change the terms that the opposing coach created??? and you expect to win? really???

  5. frankiemontana says: Jan 22, 2013 5:34 PM

    Drew Brees wants an explanation



  6. You’d think that being a wr that brown & rice would want a pass heavy offense so they can be the difference in the game.

  7. If they are going to accuse Callahan, don’t they have to accuse Rich Gannon? He’s the one who threw 5 picks.

  8. The interceptions and a blocked punt did the Raiders in. The defense was doing a pretty good job.

  9. Maybe Callahan told Al Davis that the game plan was to run the ball. Davis being a throw first kind of guy laid down the law to Callahan, and Callahan said OK Boss whatever you want.

  10. I still think the most plausable explanation is what Mike and Mike thought of early this morning: Al Davis got a look at the game plan, saw that it was run-run-and run some more, then went geriatric balistic. Davis always loved the vertical game and that explanation at least makes a little sense.

  11. This wouldn’t have been an issue had the NFL not screwed both teams by playing the game the week after the championship games, unlike every other year when they have 2 weeks. Still not sure why this was the only year they did that.

  12. Bill Callahan’s miserable life spared by NFL schedule – 2013 Raiders/Cowboys game in Dallas.

  13. To everyone pointing out they were a pass first offense so the changing of the gameplan is moot, youre dead wrong.

    No matter what the team may have been good at all year, if they’d trained the whole week using a rushing based offense but then abandoned that allowing only a day of prep COULD cost them the Superbowl. No matter what us armchair-quarterbacks think, the schemes being used are changed week in and week out based on opponents tendencies making it nearly impossible to just decide to throw at the last second because.

    As for their bold claims, I have no idea if BC wanted to lose to Chuckie (and its the Raiders and Bucs so I could care less. outside of Florida and Oakland, did anyone even watch this game), but their claims do hold water as far as the plausibility of ranking the team by overhauling the gameplan so close to game time.

  14. Hmmm… Everyone said Jose Canseco was a nut job back when he was doing all of the PED interviews. Just saying. Also think about this one. Maybe Callahan did hated the Raiders so bad he also sabotaged Barrett Robbins career/life by secretly instructing the medical staff to stop his meds for bipolar disorder. Then hired some low life to take Robbins out partying the night before the game and get a guy with mental disease to get all jacked up in drugs/alcohol or whatever. This story keeps getting better and better.

  15. We had a bass player with similar mental issues problems to Robbins. He was okay for years, but then he got to where any little change or added pressure would set him off. It got weird, and it came to head when he decided that he wasn’t going to show up for a big showcase gig in Nashville the morning of. We manged to get him there and he played alright, but he was an absolute mess mentally.

    So I can believe the part about Robbins. As far as the rest, hard to say. Sounds like whether it’s truth or perception, Brown and Rice both saw things the same way.

  16. Now THIS is what that dolt Goodell should be focusing on. This scandal actually impacts the integrity of the game! Not some dopey program that rewards players from doing their jobs better than others. I’m not saying that Brown’s allegation has merit, but this is what Goodell should investigate…if anything to clear the ever-present cloud of the biggest game in the world being rigged.

  17. What happened that suddenly brought this out?… Did the statute of limitations expire on calling out your coach after 10+ years?

    This seems a little cowardly if they felt this way after the loss, why not put it out there at that point?

  18. Marc Trestman was Raiders OC at the time. I’m sure he’s just dying to wade into this. You should ring him up and see what he has to say.

  19. As a Bronco fan and obligated Raider hater, I would love to beleive it, but frankly, I do not believe Callahan or anyone for that matter would intentionally lose the SB…

  20. No way in hell an NFL coach would throw potentially his only shot at a SB unless as a previous poster stated Callahan was paid a visit by Luca Brasi shortly before the game and was made an offer he couldn’t refuse.

  21. jackpardeepants says: Jan 22, 2013 5:48 PM

    Packers D threw the game vs the Niners a few weeks ago. Had to, right?

    Sure did look like it from this end

  22. Without Gruden giving away the Raiders playbook, there wouldn’t have been 5ints. The outcome would’ve been much different! They knew the trick of Gannon’s Pump-Fake!

  23. “Nobody wants to lose the Super Bowl.”

    …unless they bet against their own team.

    Not saying Callahan did, but there are obviously at least a couple reasons why someone might intentionally lose, especially if they feel they don’t really have a chance anyway.

  24. Pretty funny, one HOF WR and another on the cusp of becoming a HOF WR and their crying about going from a “Run First game plan” to a “Pass first” game plan in the Super Bowl. If Callahan did change the game plan with an MVP quarterback that year what’s that say for these two? Make a play here and there and may be you wouldn’t have got your butts kicked.

  25. We’ve loooooooong heard about the NFL’s supposed “conspiracies” against Al Davis and the Raiders, but, this one takes the cake.

    I suppose the fact that the Raiders haven’t been much of a factor ever since all started with “throwing” a Super Bowl, too?

    With this kind of lunacy, I don’t see Tim Brown wearing a yellow jacket at this year’s Hall of Fame ceremony.

  26. RE:
    wtfpft says:
    Jan 22, 2013 5:54 PM
    This wouldn’t have been an issue had the NFL not screwed both teams by playing the game the week after the championship games, unlike every other year when they have 2 weeks. Still not sure why this was the only year they did that
    Because of 9/11, a week of regular season was cancelled, thus eliminating the extra week off before the super bowl. And yes, Drew Brees needs an explanation.

  27. I can answer the question on whether or not Brown and Rice wanted the more pass vs run theory…Its simple on why. And its because the Raiders worked all week on a gameplan which in the first place wasn’t what they have been doing all year, fishy only to sabbatoge them. Why run? You’ve been throwing.

    To game plan around a run offense is the first confusing component that needs to be recognized, because you’ve been in pass mode all year, but the biggest game of your life and now its run mode, then two days before its back to pass mode when for 2 weeks you’ve rehearsed an entirely DIFFERENT plan. So the first gameplan is ridiculous and in my opinion the first thing in question.

    Now, as a player, you’ve practiced all week on this philosophy only to have it changed again, the friday before. So why the change in gameplans?

    Easy…Because now we know through former Bucs players that Gruden had been preparing all week simulating Rich Gannon’s audibles at the line of scrimmage. Ok, well did Callahan get this information and if so, is that why he changed it or was he simply confusing his players purposely so that by game day they would look dysfunctional.

    To my eyes, watching that Superbowl it sure in the hell looked obvious to me. And hell yes, the Lions could have scored 40 on that team knowing the gameplan, which Bucs players have admittedly did so. Connect the dots

  28. So shouldn’t there be an asterisk next to the Tampa Bay Super Bowl win? Both coaches conspired to let Gruden win. They should take back that Lombardi from Tampa. Well, Roger?

  29. Marc Trestman was the offensive coordinator and called the plays. IF there was a conspiracy to throw the game (and I still don’t believe there was) if could not have been off without his complicity.

    He would have to, at the very least, know what reason Callahan gave him for changing the game plan at the last second.

    Be curious to see what he has to say also.

    If it’s true that they originally had a run first game plan, wouldn’t that have been a mistake for a team ranked at the top of the league in passing and 23rd in rushing?

    And I still for the life of me can’t figure out why the two primary recievers on a team would be upset because the coach decided to feature them in the game plan.

  30. jasonculhane says:

    To game plan around a run offense is the first confusing component that needs to be recognized, because you’ve been in pass mode all year, but the biggest game of your life and now its run mode, then two days before its back to pass mode when for 2 weeks you’ve rehearsed an entirely DIFFERENT plan.

    There was no week off between the championship game last year. The teams would have only had two practices max to install their game plan.

  31. “Why would you change the game plan so close to the game…?”

    Because Al Davis told him to change it.

  32. If I was Callahan, I would be retaining a lawyer right now and suing for liable.

    Tim Brown has to be the dumbest guy in the world, he is a HOF finalist and competing with Carter and Reed to get in HOF as receiver. Suddenly, CC and maybe Andre Reed too look a lot more likely to make HOF and Brown a lot less likely.

  33. eatitfanboy

    “Last year” or do you mean THAT year?

    I realize that they had ONE week of practice. But the week before they played the Titans with their regular passing game plan, so in 2 weeks since then, that would mean they practiced one way only to go back to the other way.

    To you, that makes sense. To me it doesn’t, but it would to confuse the players.

  34. You know what’s weird about all of this? Jerry and Tim were the team’s best players. So it’s like they’re blaming them for depending on their best players to win the SB.

  35. Actually it would mean 3 times they changed the plan in 2 weeks. Passed against the Titans, now from that they practiced to run against the Bucs only to have 2 days before the superbowl change the gameplan one more time.

    If I was the center that would cause me to quit…

  36. Does Brown have a book coming out or something? That’s the only reason I can come with…otherwise it makes zero sense….this guy has been holding onto this nonsense for 10 years? Does he think blowing up the airwaves with these so close to the HOF vote is going to help him get in? Definitely not a Phi Beta Kappa move..

  37. Tim and Jerry are just complaining because their team was pathetic in that game and were humiliated in front of the world. Now that may be Callahan’s fault for not changing the playbook that Gruden designed himself. But that’s not the same as intentionally sabotaging the team.

    Run or pass, it doesn’t matter. They were using the SAME playbook. The Raiders ran the ball 11 times for 19 yards. The Bucs knew every single play they were running!

    So all this conspiracy crap is irrelevant. The Bucs were going to win that game no matter what.

  38. Brown and Garner were so disgusted with Callahan and Gruden that they signed with the Bucs…yeah, makes lots of sense.

  39. And what would Tim Brown be saying if the Raiders won by 30 points after a 500 yard passing day? That the coach was just really stupid because his efforts to sabotage backfired on him and created a blowout?

    Provide some evidence or corroboration regarding what he had to gain such as a financial benefit from gambling or taking a payoff, otherwise don’t throw around extreme accusations. What do Tim and Jerry have to offer in that regard to add credibility to their perspective? If they have something substantive, then they should speak up, but a game plan choice not working out does not qualify as such, especially considering they did run the ball those 11 times with embarrassing results.

  40. Strange story on many reasons. First, wasn’t Gruden fired the year before because he didn’t pass enough? Second, a WR complaining about a “pass first” game plan. Finally, since when were the raiders a run first team that year? I’m pretty sure their Quarterback Rich Gannon led the league in attempts and yards that year.

  41. The Raiders were a pass first team anyway. The Bucs had a dominant d. Who was gonna run all over them with that first game plan anyway, Tyron “draft bust” Wheatley, or mediocre Charlie Garner? Please! The way the Raiders have been, I guess their last 8 coaches since 2002 hated and sabotaged them too!

  42. Is this why Gurden didn’t jump back into the coaching fray this off season? Did GRU somehow know this scandal was gonna break?

  43. macker1283 says: First, wasn’t Gruden fired the year before because he didn’t pass enough?

    Gruden wasn’t fired. He was traded to Tampa Bay for 2 #1 picks, 2 #2 picks, and $8 million bucks. Al Davis was too cheap to pay Gruden and so traded him. BTW, Davis had a history of refusing to honor contracts with his head coaches.

  44. The only reason I can think of for Robbins to bail and Callahan to throw the game is Chucky…the real Chucky,not Gruden. Yes,Jon sent Chucky to pay a few visits ,first was probably Robbins and he folded like a lawn chair. He then made Callahan an offer he couldn’t refuse. I’m not sure but there were probably a few officials that saw Chucky as well. There is an old saying that “the autumn wind is a Raider…and Chucky”.

  45. for a coach to call out his team with the media as the dumbest team there is, speaks volumes of what he really thought.the only ones defending him right now are guys who need jobs in the media.

  46. I think Tim Brown has said this before, but what a better time to bring all that attention for his alma mater, Notre Dame. Specifically, Manti Te’o. At least for another week. When is someone going to ask Trestman his thoughts? And an opinion will need to be stated WHEN he is asked.

  47. No wonder Gruden couldn’t get a HC’ing job this year.. he couldn’t win without cheating ala the Patriots.

  48. This couldn’t possibly be about Tim Brown’s candidacy for the Hall of Fame, could it?

    And has Jerry Rice ever passed on a chance to get some publicity?

  49. A couple of things:
    1) Rich Gannon was the league MVP that year
    2) Their starting receivers were Jerry Rice and Tim Brown, 2 future Hall of Famers.
    3) The Buccaneers completed a 77-yd drive in the 2nd quarter and an 89-yd drive in the third (which took 7:52 off the clock) both with TDs, putting the score at 27-3. This was before Gannon threw any of the three pick-sixes.
    4) The Buccaneers were effectively running the ball, gaining 139 yards on the day, taking valuable time off the clock.
    5) They were playing without their starting center, regardless what his reason was for leaving, which means a back up center had to try to block Warren Sapp.
    6) Yes, they may have only attempted 11 rushing attempts for the game, but with those 11 they averaged only 1.7 yards per attempt.
    7) As good of friends as Callahan and Gruden may be, coaches who win the Super Bowl tend to have a better chance at getting bigger contracts than coaches who lose the Super Bowl.

    Hmmm, sounds like we have a couple of players who just can’t take the fact that they couldn’t cut it that day.

  50. Callahan will get along great with Romo, he doesn’t want to win the Superbowl either….

  51. “So far, Callahan hasn’t responded. But he needs to speak out and give his side of this story.”

    No he doesn’t. The accusations are ludicrous and not worthy of a response. Tim Brown, and now unfortunately Jerry Rice, are coming off as bitter, sore losers with a personal vendetta against Callahan.

  52. Is this the first time a game plan was changed or modified prior to a football game? It doesn’t always work. I can’t speak for ulterior motives/character of Bill Callahan, but there is still no evidence for anything. Jerry Rice talks about Barrett Robbins, but clearly he has no understanding of bipolar disorder. Tim Brown is from Notre Dame, & not sure if he can distinguish reality from fantasy. You’ll have to do better than that to convince any rational person.

  53. Idiots. I guess callahan throw 3 pick sixes too huh? tampa bay’s defense was so good they were not gonna beat them anyway. wonder what chucky and mike Tomlin think of all this….

  54. To knowingly and purposefully lose in the Super Bowl would be to risk career suicide. That is why I have a hard time believing that Bill Callahan sabotaged the Super Bowl. Wouldn’t it have made more sense to just quit if you hated your employer that much?

    As far as we know Bill Callahan looked into Tim Brown’s eyes, and decided that if only they got the ball into his hands the Raiders couldn’t lose. Of course in the end, Tim Brown didn’t catch those passes, and the Raiders lost, so he has no one but himself to blame…. Shut up Tim!

  55. If anyone who watched that game thinks the Raiders got blown out because they missed their center is a joke.

    What is a plausible is the statement these men are claiming. 3 players have stated that Callahan planned a run first offense and then Friday, 2 days before the super bowl changed the game plan. I can see why the Raiders would have a run first offense. Tampa bay had an awesome pass rush with their front four and a ball hawking Linebacker core and DBs.

    Also, Rich Gannon has disclaimed Callahan changed the game plan, but he said Callahan didn’t change the terminology going into the game. He then stated that Warren Sapp and Derrick Brooks were calling out the runs, and it took them out of the no-huddle.

    So even though Gannon said the game plan didn’t change, he is the fourth player to say Callahan sabotaged the Raiders.

  56. No, Callahan doesn’t need to give his side of the story, or provide comment. Not when sports reporting has become the equivalent of The National Enquirer.

    Tim Brown says his coach threw the Super Bowl. That idiot at ESPN says Robert Griffin isn’t really black. Accurate reporting is boring. Go on the air and say Ray Lewis wears a dress to work. Call your co-anchor the cryptkeeper.

    As a follower of this site since it’s inception, I’ve read some weird stuff: “Dookie” Davenport, Joe Cullen’s nude fast food quest, Mrs Ryan’s feet, to name a few. At least these people created headlines, rather than going on the air, and creating them out of whole cloth.

  57. Moss> rice

    Moss had a different quarterback to work with for 3/4 of his entire career. Rice had Montana and young. Moss would have averaged 20 tds a year if he had a hall of famer throwing him the ball every single year.

    It is an unpopular stance but I cannot be convinced otherwise. Defenses were never terrified of Jerry rice like they were of randy moss.

  58. Couldn’t it just be the losing side of that Super Bowl is looking for some way to justify their loss? Both great receivers but I think there were other reasons that the Raiders got blown out other than throwing the ball. Maybe they want a scapegoat. On the other hand it’s weird to change a gameplan hours before the biggest game in football.

  59. I mean, I’ve heard of receivers blame the loss on the fact that they were not thrown to enough, but never have I heard them say the loss was because the got the ball too much! It’s Rice and Brown, it’s not like he said, “Hey, I want to lose so I’m going to throw it to my dead beat receivers.” Oh, never mind the fact that their QB was tearing up the league. Their logic makes no sense.

  60. When Tim Brown dropped a first half catch vs TB, Coach Callahan began to smell a rat, but Jerry Rice, [16 yrs recovered from the anguish of fumbling a TD pass down the middle in the ’86 playoffs, changing the game won by NYG in a blow out, 45-3] convinced him otherwise.

    I think Domer Tim Brown is protecting Domer Te’o by starting a fire on the other side of town. Film at 11.

  61. Both the best and the worst things to happen to the Raiders were always attributable only to Al Davis.

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