I coached on a staff that had a few guys who were under Callahan while he was the head coach at Nebraska. The coaches liked to tell stories about what it is was like to work under Callahan. These were seasoned Division 1 coaches who were not impressed with other well known coaches, but you could tell by their stories that they had the utmost respect for Callahan.
His work ethic is second to none. In two years, none of the staff members dared to crack a joke in front of Callahan. Bill is all business. One coach would said, "the two worst jobs in football are to be Bill Callahan's offensive line coach and Nick Sabin's defensive backs coach." Both are thankless jobs, which are constantly under the microscope of ball-busting perfectionists. At Nebraska, Callahan would get film cut ups of Andy Reid's Eagles offense and other teams that run the West Coast offense so he could study the new wrinkles to the offense. In the run game, he never runs the Zone the same way twice. That really is football genius. Many coaches regard him as the best offensive line coach in all of football.
He never had much success at Nebraska because he is not suited for the College game. Bill coaches guys HARD and is not the warm and fuzzy type. He isn't the father figure coach that relates well with kids. Notorious grinder, Jon Gruden mentions in his book that he wished he had Bill Callahan's work ethic. Not enough credit was given to Callahan for getting Oakland to the Super Bowl after Gruden's departure. Those Raider offenses were a thing of beauty. Under Callahan's guidance, the Raiders led the NFL in passing for the first time in team history and led the league in total offense for just the second time in team history. During his tenure as not only head coach but also offensive coordinator for the Raiders, the Raider offense led the league in rushing in 2000 and led the league in passing in 2002. Bill knows balance and I think his additional input in the play calling duties will help Dallas this season.
We all know how terrible our offensive line was last year. Both Livings and Bernadeau came into the fold very late because of injuries. Costa, who isn't very good to begin with, got injured and had to be replaced by Ryan Cook (Cook was thrown into a starting role without even a full week of practice). Doug Free regressed. The old adage holds true, "you can't make chicken salad out of chicken s**t". We need better results up front and I'm confident we will see a lot of improvement in year two under Callahan. More than any other unit in football, the offensive line relies on chemistry. As the season went on, I saw noticeable improvement. I really like this draft and think we can get some guys that can come in and push starters for playing time, or win jobs outright. If we can get another running back to take the load off of DeMarco Murray, we should be much improved in the run game this year.