"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. "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."
Callahan, whose tirade was his most outward display of emotion than normal, relented slightly on Monday by clarifying that he was only criticizing the way his team played rather than its collective intellect. But he didn't exactly change his mind either. Raiders running back Tyrone Wheatley, however, suggested that some, not all, news organizations twisted Callahan's statements.
"Oh, since you've never seen that type of emotion out of a person, you make it into what you want," Wheatley said. "So but what's the point though? Just because you've never seen that type of emotion out of a person so you make it into something that it's not."
Wheatley continued before becoming annoyed and ending the interview.
"When a lot of the players heard it, it was on television," Wheatley said."Once it was said, it was cut in a certain way and placed in a certain way and edited in a certain way. That was your monster that you fed. Now, you bring it back to us and have us to try and tame it. It's not our job."
Regardless, Callahan's statements were scathing and true.
While a few players were upset with Callahan's statements, most did not exactly argue his point.
"He was talking about our play," Oakland wide receiver Jerry Porter said. "A lot of us agree with it. I know I do. Since I've been here we've been a heavily penalized team. We always found a way."
Added quarterback Rick Mirer: "We're a bunch of big boys. We'll be all right. Callahan's right. The mistakes and penalties hurt you. How you handle it is another part of the business."
Oakland Raiders rookie tight end Teyo Johnson has been giving his own vocabulary lessons around the locker-room recently. The word is "beasted." Or as Johnson, whom the Raiders drafted in the second-round from Stanford, stated, "Beasted is bested with an ‘A.' If someone gets bested animalisticly, they got beasted."
For the Raiders, DT John Parrella (groin) is out. G Mo Collins (knee), DT Sean Gilbert (groin), DT Dana Stubblefield (ankle) and S Derrick Gibson (neck) are questionable. FB Chris Hetherington (ill) is probable. … For the Pittsburgh Steelers, T Marvel Smith (neck) is out. QB Tommy Maddox (knee) and TE Jay Riemersma (chest) are questionable. RB Jerome Bettis (shoulder), C Jeff Hartings (knee), RB Vernon Hayes (knee) and WR Hines Ward (glute) are probable.
Vince D'Adamo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org