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Woodson Puts Another Hit on Callahan

November 03, 2003|Houston Mitchell | Times Staff Writer

Another week, another loss, another Charles Woodson outburst. And according to Woodson, Oakland Raider Coach Bill Callahan didn't just lose a game Sunday, he lost the team.

Woodson said the Raiders are "falling apart" because Callahan is too headstrong and not as good a communicator as predecessor Jon Gruden.

"He just has to bend a little bit and stop being so stubborn as a person," Woodson said after the Raiders dropped to 2-6 by losing to Detroit, 23-13, Sunday. "Everybody can change a little something. You don't know everything. Nobody does.

"When people on your team, coming from different angles, are trying to help you as a coach, you should take that."

Woodson then said Callahan has lost the team.

Asked whether he still has control, Callahan responded: "No question. I'm very confident."

Woodson, a defensive back who won the 1997 Heisman Trophy, said "everybody" on Oakland's roster agrees with him about Callahan.

Two players asked about the flap Sunday, Jerry Rice and Rod Coleman, supported Callahan. Two others, Tim Brown and Jerry Porter, wouldn't comment.

"As a team, you have to play for each other," Rice said. "Bill Callahan is the head coach and he's part of it."

Coleman said he respects Callahan.

"He's our head coach and I'll do what he asks of me," Coleman said.

After coaching the Raiders for four seasons, Gruden went to Tampa Bay before last season in a deal that sent the Raiders two first-round draft picks, two second-round picks and $8 million.

"With Gruden, you knew exactly what he was going to do," Woodson said. "At this point, guys don't know what we're going to do from week to week. [Callahan] might say one thing on Monday, and on Saturday, it's something different. [Gruden] built this team back up to where it was, and now it's falling apart."

Woodson does not regret making his spat with Callahan public. He made similar statements in an interview with ESPN during the week.

"I take nothing back I say," Woodson said Sunday. "Everything I say, I mean. And I mean what I say."

*

A 32-year-old man was in serious condition after falling from a stairway on the third level of new Soldier Field during Sunday's game between Chicago and San Diego.

Chicago police would not release the fan's name, citing federal privacy laws.

The man was on an exterior stairway on the southwest side of the stadium when he fell. Chicago Park District police spokeswoman JoAnn Taylor said the man landed on a grassy area and was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

No details were released on his injuries.

Times wire services contributed to this report.

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