There have been questions ever since Tampa Bay routed the then-Oakland Raiders 48-21 in Super Bowl XXXVII that the Buccaneers knew what plays were coming.
Much of it had to with the fact that Jon Gruden was the Bucs’ coach just a year after holding the same position with the Raiders. Gruden, of course, is again the Raiders’ coach.
A podcast, “Sports Uncovered: The Mysterious Disappearance That Changed a Super Bowl,” has only added to the notion that the Bucs knew what to expect from the Raiders in that game that crowned the 2002 season champion.
The podcast was a series of interviews from 2011 that were recently discovered in the NBC Sports Bay Area and California offices.
“We was breaking the huddle and they was calling out our formation and bossing over to our formations,” said Damon “Mo” Collins, a Raiders offensive lineman who died in 2014.
Raiders defensive lineman Sam Adams said the problem was coach Bill Callahan didn’t change the play terminology that Gruden used when he coached the team.
“I played with some of (Bucs players) after the fact,” Adams said. “And they’re like, ‘We cannot believe you’re using this same checks. And the same terminology.’ … Come on, how can that be?”
Offensive lineman Lincoln Kennedy said it was too coincidental how locked in the Bucs’ defense was that game.
“Every level of the defense knew what we were doing,” Kennedy said. “They knew what to look for when we checked against a blitz. They knew where we were going with the ball.”