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Oklahoma football: Former Oakland Raiders assistant coach Jay Norvell denies any 'sabotage' in 2003 Super Bowl

by Jason Kersey Published: January 25, 2013
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Jay Norvell vigorously denies recent allegations that the Oakland Raiders' coaching staff made last-minute changes to their Super Bowl game plan, resulting in what former receiver Tim Brown suggested could've been “sabotage” nearly 10 years ago.

Brown's shocking comments — and Hall of Fame receiver Jerry Rice's support of them — somewhat soured an otherwise exciting month for the 2002-03 Raiders' staff.

Some of its members reunited for a new challenge in a different city; the Dallas Cowboys appear primed to give play-calling duties to former Oakland head coach Bill Callahan; and one low-level Raiders assistant from that staff reached his first Super Bowl as a head coach.

“It's a really good group of coaches,” Norvell said. “It's an interesting year. There's a lot of guys that I coached with that are getting opportunities.

“They're kinda putting that band back together in Chicago.”

The Chicago Bears hired Marc Trestman, Oakland's offensive coordinator from 2002-03, as their new head coach. Trestman lured two assistants from that Raiders' staff to Chicago — Adam Kromer, the Bears' new offensive coordinator, coached the Oakland offensive line under Trestman, and then-Raiders running backs coach Skip Peete accepted the same position in Chicago.

A source told The Oklahoman Thursday that Norvell, too, interviewed for and was offered a job on Trestman's Chicago staff, but ultimately chose to stay at Oklahoma.

Norvell declined to comment on any potential jobs he may have interviewed for, saying only that he and his family are very happy in Norman.

“Marc's a great, great coach and a great mind,” Norvell said. “I'm happy for him and his success.”

His old boss, meanwhile, appears likely to assume the Dallas Cowboys' play-calling duties. Callahan just completed his first season as the Cowboys' offensive line coach.

In addition to coaching on Callahan's Raiders' staff, Norvell was his offensive coordinator at Nebraska from 2004-06.

Then there's Jim Harbaugh, who once toiled through sleepless night after sleepless night as the Raiders' quality control coach, and 10 years later prepares to lead the San Francisco 49ers into XLVII against the Baltimore Ravens, coached by his brother John.

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by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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