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Rich Gannon: Bill Callahan didn't sabotage Super Bowl

Former Oakland Raiders wide receiver Tim Brown raised eyebrows by suggesting over the weekend on Sirius XM NFL Radio that Bill Callahan might have sabotaged the Raiders' chances in Super Bowl XXXVII against old buddy Jon Gruden and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Oakland's quarterback that day, Rich Gannon, addressed the comments Tuesday on his show "The SiriusXM Blitz" with Adam Schein.

"In terms of Bill Callahan, he's a good football coach. He's a good man. I don't think he would intentionally -- ever (not try to win.) Nor do I think anyone would ever. There was too much in it for all of us. There was too much vested in trying to become world champions. From a selfish perspective, we all wanted to win. I'm sure Bill Callahan was one of them," Gannon said.

He hit the nail on the head. Callahan could have changed his life with a Super Bowl win. Are we really supposed to believe that Callahan would intentionally pass up millions of dollars in future earnings? It's insane.

Gannon, who spoke highly of Brown's preparation and intelligence, even questioned the notion that the Raiders dramatically changed the game plan before the Super Bowl. Gannon believes the Raiders were a tired team by the weekend and they all shared in the team's defeat. It didn't help that the Buccanneers knew many of the Raiders' line calls.

Brown suggested teammates would back him up in his assertion about Callahan, but that hasn't been the case so far.

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Former Raiders linebacker Bill Romanowski told WPEN-FM in Philadelphia that the accusation made no sense.

"He absolutely couldn't be further from the truth. So you're saying that a man has a chance to cement himself in history with winning a Super Bowl and he wants to hand it over to his buddy? Give me a break, OK?" Romanowski said. "It couldn't be further from the truth. He doesn't know what he's talking about. I'm blown away that something like that would come out of an intelligent man's mouth."

Update: Callahan issued a statement late Tuesday that read in part: "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 involves the Super Bowl, is ludicrous and defamatory."

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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