Wednesday, January 07, 2004
For the record, I believe Callahan's side of the story about the Raiders situation this past year. I do think that maybe he deserved to be let go insofar as he couldn't control the team. But I think the real reason for the problems on the team had to do with the geezers talking out of turn. A classic case of the inmates running the asylum, which for the Raiders is traditionally a good analogy. Here is what Callahan had to say about Tim Brown's sour grapes:
"First off, the notion that I would sabotage a season is absolutely delusional,'' Callahan said during a lengthy radio interview with James Brown on Sporting News Radio. "It is insulting and unfounded, in my opinion. Do you think that I would coach for 26 years to become a head coach in the National Football League, go to a Super Bowl, so I can throw a season? I don't think so.
"I don't think that I would put in 18 hours a day and spend the entire four weeks of my vacation planning for a season, so I can throw it all away. So, those remarks that Tim accused me of are totally absurd and that is an indictment that is unwarranted, unfounded and totally off base."
Brown's anger and attitude, Callahan said, stem from the fact that he was told prior to the Oct. 20 Monday night game against Kansas City that he would be replaced in the starting lineup by fourth-year receiver Jerry Porter.
"Porter, in my opinion, is the next receiver to supplant Tim as the starting flanker in Oakland,'' Callahan said. "Tim was the go-to guy for the Raiders and I diminished his role on offense. He voiced his displeasure in the locker room. From there on, he did nothing but complain about that role.
"With due respect to his illustrious career, it is nothing personal, but that was one of the points of contention during the year."
Callahan stressed that he made personnel decisions regarding Brown and others solely and "never conferred with Al (Davis) about any of the moves I made here.''
The former Raiders coach, whose contract was not renewed last week after taking the team to a Super Bowl in 2002 and following with a 4-12 finish in 2003, went on to characterize Brown as a bitter, disruptive player who failed to address locker room divisions in his role as team captain.
Sounds about right.
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