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Tim Brown on Bill Callahan claims: 'I never called it sabotage'

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

Tim Brown probably should've gone back and read what he said about Bill Callahan before appearing on The Dan Patrick Show on Wednesday, because the former Oakland Raider great basically contradicted everything that he'd previously said while backtracking on his "sabotage" claims.

"I never called it sabotage," Brown said. "I think in my statement last Saturday night, I said that's something that we can't prove. But it's something that was brought up."

One problem: Brown absolutely called Callahan's decision to change the Raiders' game plan on Friday night "sabotage" while appearing on a radio spot.

"We all called it sabotage," Brown said previously.

So, yeah, that doesn't jibe at all. Perhaps Brown's insistence while on the air with Patrick that he never used the word sabotage was born out of Callahan calling the former wide receiver's remarks "defamatory."

"I didn't say Bill sabotaged the game. I wouldn't say that because that's not something I would ever have knowledge about," Brown said Wednesday. "But I have to say the word was thrown around, not just by myself, not just by myself, right after the game."

Again: confusing. Brown said he never used the word but then immediately said the word was thrown around.

One logical theory for why the game plan (allegedly) changed is something that Patrick brought up with Brown; the influence of the late Al Davis, who wasn't ever fond of not throwing the ball as deep as possible.

"It never came up. And maybe [Callahan] wouldn't have said, 'Al wanted me to change the game plan.' That's something we'll never know, obviously," Brown said of Davis changing the game plan. "It's not out of the realm of possibility that Mr. Davis could've said, 'Scratch this, and we're going to do what we did to get here.' I think that's something that's not only plausible but likely because I know in my 16 years there that's something that happened once or twice."

Yup, makes total sense. Unfortunately, we now also have a bit of contradiction on the game plan even changing at all -- CBS Sports' Rich Gannon said on Sirius XM Radio on Wednesday that Davis wasn't involved and that the game plan didn't even change in the first place.

Gannon also said that it's "simply not true" that the Raiders' game plan changed on Friday and that Brown and Jerry Rice -- who has also questioned Callahan's decision making -- are out of line and off base on their accusations.

Gannon and former Raiders linebacker Bill Romanowski previously came out and defended Callahan as well.

So we have a couple of guys defending the coach, the coach defending himself (aggressively) and at least one of the guys who laid out the sabotage claim backpeddling faster than a defensive back trying to cover him on a vertical route.

"I have never said that he sabotaged the game. All that was said after the game was, the question was asked about this situation," Brown said. "But no one ever said, and I said it on the radio show the other night, it's something that can never be proven. We can never go into the mind of Bill Callahan and say, 'Oh, yeah. We knew exactly what he was thinking and what he was trying to do.' All I'm saying is the question was asked.

"Of course, the media hears 'sabotage' and 'Bill Callahan' and 'throwing the football game' and now they're saying 'throwing the football game.' That terminology was never used."

Except by Brown, several times in more than one interview.

 
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