Former Oakland Raiders wide receiver and Pro Football Hall of Fame finalist Tim Brown blames ex-Raiders coach Bill Callahan for the team's embarrassing 48-21 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl XXXVII.
Speaking on Sirius XM NFL Radio last Saturday, Brown speculated that Callahan might have changed the team's game plan the Friday before the game because he was friends with Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden and because Callahan "hated" the Raiders. (Gruden had coached the Raiders before taking the Bucs job the prior offseason.)
"We get our game plan for victory on Monday, and the game plan says we're gonna run the ball," Brown said. "We averaged 340 (pounds) on the offensive line, they averaged 280 (on the defensive line). We're all happy with that, everybody is excited."
But Brown said Callahan, now the offensive coordinator with the Dallas Cowboys, called an audible the Friday before the game, switching from a run-heavy attack to a pass-first one.
"We all called it sabotage ... because Callahan and Gruden were good friends," Brown said. "And Callahan had a big problem with the Raiders, you know, hated the Raiders. You know, only came because Gruden made him come. Literally walked off the field on us a couple of times during the season when he first got there, the first couple years.
"So really, he had become someone who was part of the staff but we just didn't pay him any attention. Gruden leaves, he becomes the head coach. ... It's hard to say that the guy sabotaged the Super Bowl. You know, can you really say that? That can be my opinion, but I can't say for a fact that that's what his plan was, to sabotage the Super Bowl. ... That's hard to say, because you can't prove it."
The contradiction in Brown's quote is self-evident, making him sound more like a disgruntled former player than a clear-headed analyst.
In the interview, first reported by ProFootballTalk, Brown also appears to blame the sudden change in game plan for the Super Bowl-eve disappearance of Raiders center Barrett Robbins from San Diego. Robbins, who had bipolar disorder, went missing the day before the game. He turned up later that night and admitted to wandering around Tijuana, Mex. all day, but was left off the team's game-day roster.
Follow Kevin Patra on Twitter @kpatra.