More on the Dumbness of the Raiders

Oakland Raiders head coach Bill Callahan was already walking on thin ice before Sunday's outburst that followed his team's 22-8 loss to the Denver Broncos. Callahan, however, might have probably sealed his fate as the team's head coach after he angrily chided his team, most notably in reference to committing 11 penalties for 89 yards.

Two of those infractions led to Denver touchdowns after the Oakland Raiders appeared to have stopped the Broncos. Perhaps, if Callahan is going to go down, he may as well take some people with him.

"If we don't learn how not to beat ourselves, we won't win again, and we won't win for a long time," Callahan said emphatically in his postgame conference. "We've got to be the dumbest team in America in terms of playing the game. I'm highly critical because of the way we give games away -- we give ‘em away! Period. It's embarrassing, and I represent that. And I apologize for that. If that's the best we can do, it's a sad product."

It's virtually impossible to state anything to the contrary but what took so long? Granted, Callahan was probably referring more to the team's mistakes in a football context than their intellect.

Penalties, however, are nothing new for the Raiders, who dropped to 3-9 and assured their first sub-.500 season since going 4-12 in 1997.

Oakland rose its season total to 112 penalties for 937 yards. Heck, the Raiders commit penalties even when they are at their best. Look no further than last season when Oakland committed 124 infractions for 1,069 yards on the way to an AFC Championship season. Callahan would have been better off saying it then even though the team was doing well.

Notice how Callahan's statements include the term "we" as opposed to "they." That notion has the coach in effect calling himself out as well as his team. Granted, the players are on the field making those mistakes but the coach has to assume some responsibility as well.

When Callahan, who had been an Oakland assistant from 1998-2001, took over for Jon Gruden, skeptics stated he would either become another George Seifert or another Joe Bugel. Last season, the Seifert comparisons seemed warranted but not now.

Callahan was already losing his team before Sunday's tirade. Look no further than cornerback Charles Woodson's statements of Callahan losing control of the team. Callahan eventually confronted Woodson but the fact that he waited to do so does not exactly lend one to call him a strong leader.

Wide receiver Tim Brown, who has seen it all with this franchise since 1987, said he would try to be the peacemaker for Callahan's tirade.

Good luck, Tim. The damage has been done. You're better off trying to help your coach get work elsewhere.

Then again, he may be on Gruden's staff in Tampa Bay next year.

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


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