Jerry Rice went on ESPN this afternoon and just echoed what his former teammate, Tim Brown said about coach Bill Callahan “throwing” the Super Bowl in 2003. Tampa Bay destroyed the Raiders, 48-21. The Raiders had the NFL’s 2nd highest scoring offense that year (28 ppg), and led the league in passing at 279 ypg. The Bucs led the league in pass defense and points per game. Something had to give.
So, according to Brown and Rice, Callahan suddenly changed the game plan a few days before the game, and went away from the run and curiously got suddenly pass-happy. They carried 11 times for 19 yards.
Via Pro Football Talk, here’s what Rice said:
“For some reason — and I don’t know why — Bill Callahan did not like me,” Rice said. “In a way, maybe because he didn’t like the Raiders, he decided, ‘Maybe we should sabotage this a little bit and let Jon Gruden go out and win this one.’”
According to Rice, Robbins was so demoralized by Callahan announcing in a team meeting that he was going to call mostly pass plays that Robbins decided to bail on the Super Bowl.
“With Barrett, he was frustrated, like, ‘You cannot do this to us at the last second.’ Maybe that’s why he decided to not show up,” Rice said.
Bill Callahan is the offensive coordinator of the Cowboys – in fact, today, it was reported that he’d be calling plays next year instead of head coach Jason Garrett. This one shouldn’t be too difficult to figure out. Get Callahan and the QB, Rich Gannon, on the phone, and someone ring the offensive coordinator, Marc Trestman, too.