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Sunday, November 2, 2003
Updated: November 3, 9:15 AM ET
CB claims coach has lost team

Associated Press

DETROIT -- Charles Woodson said the Oakland Raiders are "falling apart" because coach Bill Callahan is too headstrong and not as good a communicator as predecessor Jon Gruden.

"He just has to bend a little bit and stop being so stubborn as a person," Woodson said after the Raiders dropped to 2-6 by losing to Detroit 23-13 Sunday. "Everybody can change a little something. You don't know everything. Nobody does.

"When people on your team, coming from different angles, are trying to help you as a coach, you should take that."

Woodson said Callahan has lost the team.

Asked whether he still has control, Callahan responded: "No question. I'm very confident."

Woodson, a defensive back who won the 1997 Heisman Trophy, said "everybody" on Oakland's roster agrees with him about Callahan.

"The more you talk to guys on our team and the more they open up about the situation - if they choose to do that - then you'll understand where I'm coming from," Woodson said.

Two players asked about the flap Sunday, Jerry Rice and Rod Coleman, supported Callahan. Another, Jerry Porter, wouldn't comment.

"As a team, you have to play for each other," Rice said. "Bill Callahan is the head coach and he's part of it."

Coleman said he respects Callahan.

"He's our head coach and I'll do what he asks of me," Coleman said.

After coaching the Raiders for four seasons, Gruden went to Tampa Bay before last season in a deal that sent the Raiders two first-round draft picks, two second-round picks and $8 million.

Gruden's Bucs beat Callahan's Raiders in last season's Super Bowl.

"With Gruden, you knew exactly what he was going to do," Woodson said. "At this point, guys don't know what we're going to do from week to week. (Callahan) might say one thing on Monday, and on Saturday, it's something different. (Gruden) built this team back up to where it was, and now it's falling apart."

Woodson does not regret making his spat with Callahan public. He made similar statements in an interview with ESPN during the week.

"I take nothing back I say," Woodson said Sunday. "Everything I say, I mean. And I mean what I say."

He has played in four Pro Bowls. His three interceptions this season give him 15 in his six-year NFL career.