Callahan sending wrong message

"I'll address it when the time is necessary. At this juncture, I'm not going to feel into the negativity." -- Raiders head coach Bill Callahan

The Oakland Raiders and dull moments have never been terms that go together -- not even in a 2-6 season.

One day after cornerback Charles Woodson criticized his head coach, Bill Callahan, on two occasions the latter responded but not in the same tone as the former.

Woodson was openly critical of Callahan before and after the Raiders 23-13 loss to the Detroit Lions. Woodson suggested that Callahan had a "big ego," was not listening to input from the "veteran players" and has "lost control of the team."

Woodson was not available for comment Monday, when Callahan addressed the media in his weekly press conference.

"I really believe they're inappropriate and inaccurate (statements)," Callahan said. "We're frustrated. We're disappointed but total loss of the team is pretty drastic. That's hitting rock bottom when you start discussing those types of words. I don't think we're at the bottom of this thing."

Callahan added that he and Woodson had not spoken in a month.

"I'll address it when the time is necessary," Callahan said. "At this juncture, I'm not going to feel into the negativity."

The feeling here is that both individuals are at fault to some extent. For one, Woodson should air his complaints to Callahan one-on-one. As for Callahan, the longer he chooses to go without confronting Woodson, the more he becomes the enabler for his behavior.

The team's fellow Woodson, free safety Rod, echoed similar beliefs.

"They probably need to talk, as two people," Rod Woodson said. "You have dirty laundry out there. I'm pretty sure Wood is not going to go to him."

Has Callahan lost control of the team like Joe Bugel in 1997 as some suggest? That's open for discussion but he's not exactly going to discourage Woodson from making similar references in the future by not addressing the player.

The Bay Area football teams are not new to public spats.

Look no further than across the Bay with the San Francisco 49ers and their powder keg receiver Terrell Owens, who had a lengthy list of incidents with former head coach Steve Mariucci. While Mariucci's attempts to curb Owens' behavior did not work in the long run, at least he tried to address it.

Owens had a sideline blowup at offensive coordinator Greg Knapp in a 35-7 loss to Minnesota and subsequently called out quarterback Jeff Garcia. San Francisco's current head coach, Dennis Erickson, spoke to Owens and said his antics will not be tolerated. Sure, it may be only a matter of time before Owens snaps but at least some action was taken.

Granted, Woodson is not the outwardly emotional player like Owens. Will addressing Woodson stop him from making similar statements? Perhaps so or perhaps not. The coach not speaking to him, however, is not to discourage other players from following suit.

Vince D'Adamo can be reached at vdad7@yahoo.com


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