Callahan speaks out on 'sabotage' allegations

Callahan speaks out on 'sabotage' allegations

Published Jan. 22, 2013 11:02 p.m. ET

DALLAS — Former NFL star Tim Brown has so frequently alleged that that his Oakland Raiders head coach Bill Callahan "sabotaged" their chances of winning Super Bowl XXXVII a decade ago that the story had taken on an "urban legend" feel in Brown's hometown of Dallas. But this week, with the Super Bowl on the horizon and with Brown as a Hall of Fame finalist, the allegations have gained so much national media traction that Callahan has moved to hire a law firm to help defend himself.

Callahan then issued a statement, forwarded to five media outlets (including 105.3 The Fan) from the Nevada firm of McDonald, Carano and Wilson. It reads:

"I am shocked, saddened and outraged by Tim Brown's allegations and Jerry Rice's support of those allegations. To leave no doubt. I categorically and unequivocally deny the sum and substance of their allegation. To suggest otherwise, especially at this time when it involves the Super Bowl, is ludicrous and defamatory. Any suggestion that I would undermine the integrity of the sport that I love and dedicated to 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 American loves that these allegations be retracted immediately."

Callahan, who did not speak to reporters while in Mobile, Ala., for the Senior Bowl, is currently the Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator and is in the news this week as the team moves to perhaps elevate him to offensive play-caller under head coach Jason Garrett.

Brown, who resides in Dallas, made the claim on SiriusXM NFL Radio and on 105.3 The Fan. His belief is that Callahan's drastically changed the Raiders' game plan 36 hours before kickoff of what would be a 48-21 loss to Tampa Bay. Brown is convinced Callahan did so because of his friendship with opposing coach Jon Gruden and his dislike for his own Raiders organization.

Legendary receiver Jerry Rice has come out in support of Brown's position. The quarterback of that team, Rich Gannon, told Sirius, "In terms of Bill Callahan, let me just say this: He was a good football coach, he was a good man. We all wanted to win."

Callahan's statement acknowledges those who have backed him while being attacked.

"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.”