I know this is quite the scandalous headline, but it is essentially what Tim Brown is insinuating.
You can find the story here.
Tim Brown believes that Bill Callahan changed the game plan on the Friday before the 2003 Super Bowl in order to "sabotage" the Raiders team that he loathed so much. While this is a crazy enough accusation, Jerry Rice has given it some credence by corroborating these suspicions.
Let's entertain the possibility for a second and assume these accusations true. What part would Trestman have played in all of this? As the offensive coordinator, Trestman could be implicated in part of this, but how much say could he really have over the head coach? Did he simply turn over and go along with a revised game plan at the last second? Would he have tried to fight these changes? I think these allegations raise some interesting questions about Trestman's character if they are true.
Of course, it would be wrong to not recognize the animosity that Tim Brown holds for Trestman and Callahan. Jerry Rice's arrival in Oakland marked the end of Tim Brown's string of 1000 yard seasons. This coupled with a disdain for Trestman's play calling have made Tim Brown an outspoken opponent of our new coach. Similar to Rice's complaints of Trestman in San Francisco, I believe these frustrations to be a result of selfishness and an unwillingness to do what is asked to help the team. Does anyone think that Marshall will complain when asked to go across the middle next year? Come on, he'll take the ball any way he can!
It would also be short sighted to not consider how ludicrous the accusation against Callahan really is. How much hate towards an organization would be needed to sabotage a possible Super Bowl win? What good does it do to sabotage a Super Bowl victory? If Oakland had won, Callahan could have secured a profitable coaching career on many teams in the league if he really wanted out of Oakland. Regardless of winning the big one, a Super Bowl appearance alone is enough to get a coach extended for some years to come. If Callahan wanted out of Oakland, this wasn't the way to do it. The only explanation that fits is that Callahan wanted to see Oakland burn, yet that just doesn't make any rational sense.
If Callahan really hated the Raiders, why did he coach them to a Super Bowl? Why didn't he sabotage them by losing a game or two more in the regular season which would have prevented a playoff appearance? The sting of that would have been so much worse.
I believe that these inconsistencies and questions lend credence to this story being nothing more than Tim Brown looking for recognition years removed from his once spectacular career. Jerry Rice's corroboration does add an interesting spin to the story. Even if Callahan had changed the game plan last minute, would Trestman have recognized this as sabotage or rather as a maneuver to adjust to a talented opponent? Perhaps this story raises more questions about Trestman's judgement than anything. Or, maybe it's just bad blood creating a story out of nothing.
What do you think? Let me know in the poll and the comments below...