One-time Raiders coach Bill Callahan has unequivocally denied accusations from former player Tim Brown -- and supported by another former player, Jerry Rice -- that Callahan sabotaged the team's Super Bowl XXXVII chances by changing the game plan late in the preparation process.
"There are many people who are disappointed by the outcome of Super Bowl XXXVII, but none more than me," Callahan 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," Callahan continued. "To suggest otherwise, especially at this time when it involves 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 dedicated 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."
Former Raiders players Rich Gannon and Bill Romanowski had previously disputed Brown's claim.