- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer
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Bill Callahan released a statement strongly refuting former Oakland receiver Tim Brown's suggestion that Callahan "sabotaged" the Raiders' chances of winning Super Bowl XXXVII.
Brown made the claim during a Saturday appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio based on Callahan's decision to drastically change the Raiders' game plan 36 hours before their 48-21 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, speculating that Callahan wanted to spite the Raiders franchise. ESPN analyst Jerry Rice backed Brown's claims, which Callahan called "ludicrous and defamatory."
“There are many people who are disappointed by the outcome of Super Bowl XXVII, but none more than me," Callahan, the former Raiders head coach and current Cowboys offensive coordinator, said in a statement. "While I fully understand a competitive professional football player’s disappointment when a game’s outcome doesn’t go his team’s way, I am shocked, saddened and outraged by Tim Brown’s allegations and Jerry Rice’s support of those allegations made through various media outlets over the last twenty four hours.
"To leave no doubt, I categorically and unequivocally deny the sum and substance of their allegations. Like every game I ever coached on the professional or collegiate level, I endeavor to the best of my professional ability to position my team to win. To suggest otherwise, especially at this time when it involved the Super Bowl, is ludicrous and defamatory.
"I have always honored the spirit of competition that drives us to sport as children and, for the lucky few, sustains us in adulthood. Any suggestion that I would undermine the integrity of the sport that I love and dedicate my life to, or dishonor the commitment I made to our players, coaches and fans, is flat out wrong. I think it would be in the best interests of all including the game America loves that these allegations be retracted immediately.
"I want to extend my personal and my family’s deep appreciation to the coaches, players and fans who have come forward and thoughtfully spoken out against these ill-conceived allegations.”