A day after Tennessee safety Lance Schulters called Tim Brown a "crybaby," one of Brown's Oakland teammates fired back.
"Schulters is talking trash about our captain, and we're going to rally behind our captain," receiver Jerry Porter said. "He's going to call him a crybaby? That's bull. [Brown] has paid his dues in this league and earned the respect of getting the calls that normal receivers don't get, the pulling of his jersey, the holding around the waist when he's trying to go through zones. That's a flag. Outside of five yards, that's a flag. Because he wants the game to be played fair he's a crybaby? That's bull."
The Raiders squeezed every ounce of motivation out of comments last week by the New York Jets, many of whom said Raider linemen were unathletic and had to resort to holding.
On Wednesday, Schulters, a former San Francisco 49er, told reporters: "Tim Brown's a crybaby, first of all. He's always whining for the ball -- 'Oh, they grabbed me, they punched me, they did this.' He's a crybaby. I get so frustrated seeing that on tape."
Said Porter: "I'm ready to play football. If [Schulters] wants to come out and talk [stuff] and get it going like that, let's get it going. He had it in San Francisco. Tim Brown put a dagger in his heart, and he can do it again this year. It don't change -- uniforms, states, cities -- it don't change."
Brown said he and Schulters tangled during a Raider-49er game once and haven't spoken in the three or four times they've faced each other since.
"I don't know what that's all about," Brown said of Schulters' comments. "I'm sure he's doing it for himself, because he can't be doing it to affect me. I've been around too long to be affected by words like that."
A Super Bowl ring might be the ultimate goal for an NFL player, but it's not the be-all end-all.
At least it isn't to Raider safety Rod Woodson, who already has one. He was asked if his career would have been tarnished had he gone without winning it all.
"I wouldn't have lost sleep over it," he said. "[When I was with Pittsburgh], we played in it in '95 and lost to Dallas, and I went back to the hotel and went to sleep. I didn't lose sleep for four or five weeks."