Czaban blogs about this letter and actually provides the text. This is a must read:
Just caught the tail-end of your show this morning when you were talking about Schottenheimer and downloading the playoff stuff from I-Tunes.
I know somebody that had full audio access to that game. What he said, was mind-blowing.
You'll remember the infamous 4th and 11 call that probably doomed SD in the first quarter. This was the exchange that was heard “down-the-line” between Marty and Cam Cameron.
Marty: We're going for it.
Cameron: No f'ing way coach, we're kicking.
Marty: Find a play. We're going for it.
From then on it was a huge argument with cursing left and right. They had to call a time out and when Rivers came over he said, "What's going on, why aren't we kicking the field goal?"
So early in the second quarter, Marty yells into the mic, "Goddamnit, I'm so hyped up someone needs to get over here and calm me down." So the special teams coach comes over to him and talks to him and Marty says, "I was pulling into the parking lot today and I decided we were going to be aggressive. People don't think I can be aggressive but I decided driving in that we were going to be." And the ST coach says, "Coach. You can't let the outside stuff get to you." I think it's interesting, at best, that Schottenheimer was making decisions in the parking lot with regard to strategy.
All told, the guy said it was pretty unbelievable. Anyway, you probably will not be seeing those clips on any upcoming special on the life and times of coach Marty Schottenheimer but I thought you'd enjoy hearing about it.
See, I knew that Marty was trying hard to dispel the thought that he was still playing 'Martyball' by making such a bold move at home in front of the fans. He had done things like this a number of times before in the past couple of seasons. Typically, you like to see your coach go for it on 4th down but only if the situation is as close to ideal as possible, and definitely when the circumstance is desperate. But there really was no reason for the offense to be on the field on that 4th and 11 down. Special teams should have handled that play with either a field goal attempt or a punt. I mean, these were the Raiders and it wasn't some regular season game. This was the battle-tested Patriots in the playoffs - you don't piss that team off by going for a 4th and 11.
Its hard to say that the failed conversion attempt cost the Chargers the game, but it certainly didn't help much that the Patriots got the ball back with great field position and where able to capitalize on the opportunity by going down the field and scoring.
What this letter does show us, if in fact those words are legit, is that Marty wasn't lying when he said he rarely calls the plays, and it makes you wonder how much of the Chargers success came from Coach Schottenheimer versus his excellent coordinators Wade Phillips and Cam Cameron.