Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tim Brown Confuses Bill Callahan's Bad Coaching for Sabotage

In an interview this past weekend, former Oakland Raider receiver Tim Brown repeated his allegation that Bill Callahan "sabotaged" the Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII ten years ago.  This morning, the comments are all over the news, from NBC's Pro Football Talk to ESPN and Yahoo! Sports.

What did Brown say?
"We get our game plan for victory on Monday, and the game plan says we’re gonna run the ball,” Brown said last Saturday on SiriusXM NFL Radio (via Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com). “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'."
Most everybody thinks this is all new...but it's not to readers of CornNation.  Brown said the same thing in March 2011 in an interview with Dallas' Sportsradio 1310, The Ticket.

So did Callahan sabotage the Raiders in the Super Bowl?  Rich Gannon says absolutely not; he had too much to gain by intentionally losing the Super Bowl.  Bill Romanowski said much the same thing.

I don't believe Callahan tried to intentionally blow the Super Bowl, much like I don't think Callahan sabotaged Nebraska during his four years in Lincoln.  Callahan didn't try to lose.

Callahan just isn't a good head coach.  He's a great offensive line coach by all accounts; perhaps one of the best around today.  But as a playcaller and a head coach?  Over his head.

Bill Callahan was all over the board as a playcaller.  He would go into ruts and go heavy run or heavy pass, and almost always at the wrong time.  His offenses looked balanced on the final stat sheet, but when you look at series of play calls, he typically be either pounding the rock on every play or abandoning the run.  Usually with bad results in critical situations.  Throw the ball on third and short, late in the game against Texas?  Oy.  Turtling against Southern Cal?  My oh my.  And that 2004 loss to Iowa State?  Yikes.

That's not sabotage. That's just incompetence.

So now Dallas is thinking about handing Callahan the keys to the Cowboys' offense next season?  Good luck with that, Cowboy fans. That's the best news the NFC East has heard in years.

I mean, we know he's done it before.  But it's a job he's done very badly.  Just look at Callahan's record.  It speaks for itself.

1 comment:

James Leroy Wilson said...

I'll never believe Callahan didn't want to win that Super Bowl.

But if Tim Brown hates him, and I'm sure he does, I could see how he remembers this. Jon Ritchie and Jerry Rice seem to confirm it. My theories:

1. Callahan panicked and overthought the game plan. Consider his perfect game calling on the first drive of that Auburn Bowl game. After that, his play-calling sucked. This isn't sabotage, it's the sign of a bad head coach.

2.Al Davis intervened and changed the game plan that Friday -- totally believable.

3. The game plan DID change, but largely out of the Barrett Robbins disappearance and getting behind early in the game ,which seems to be what several team members remember (plus tens of millions of viewers.) Brown, et.al., are merging the timelines in their memory.

Can't blame him. Tim Brown's in the Hall of Fame right now if he has a Super Bowl ring. And Ritchie seems to back up his point. But it seems to me that this points to the Al Davis intervention theory, or Callahan's flakiness rather than sabotage.