Jared Allen says bountygate had nothing to do with NFC title game loss
Jared Allen had an interesting take on the bounty scandal that has encircled the New Orleans Saints.
He doesn’t agree at all with any edicts made by coaches to attempt to injure opponents. But he does say that whatever the Saints did in the NFC Championship Game against the Vikings – when there was a bounty on quarterback Brett Favre – it had nothing to do with five turnovers by Minnesota.
“Yeah, that high-low was pretty vicious, but here’s the deal. I think what people get caught up in — and obviously the Saints were wrong in what they did and they’re being punished accordingly — but the way I look at it, you can’t cry over spilled milk,” Allen said in a visit on KTAR radio in Phoenix, according to sportsradiointerviews.com. “They won the game, we had our shots and we blew it. But their Bountygate had nothing to do with our five turnovers. … But I think, you look at those hits on Favre, and you look at that stuff — all you’ve gotta do is throw a flag. You can hit a guy like — they didn’t put him out of the game, he stayed and finished the game. If the refs called those flags, after about two or three personal fouls and 30, 45 yards of field position, those tend to slow down. Because at the end of the day, that’s great — you wanna hit people hard, you wanna pay people to cart people out — but you wanna win games.”
Allen said the NFL needed to hand out strict discipline in the case in order to restore “integrity” in the game, and everyone is waiting to see what will happen to the players involved. He said he was shocked when he heard the audio file of Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams prior to the NFC playoff game in San Francisco in January.
“Yeah, you know, I was a little shocked. … Don’t get me wrong, you get some coaches that are rah-rah guys,” Allen said. “Other coaches are just like, ‘Ya know, go out and do what you’re supposed to do.’ So for us, we know Gregg. We watch some film and put ourselves in situations — we don’t really get a rah-rah speech. But to hear someone call a player out by name — I can remember coaches getting fired up … and that’s one thing– but, yeah, to say, ‘We’re going to target this dude’s head or take out his knee, his ankle’s busted up’ — yeah, that’s a bit aggressive in my book.
“I guess my beef with the whole thing is, when someone takes somebody else’s career into their own hands, you’re ultimately taking food away from that guy’s family if it’s a career-ending injury. And to have that kind of God complex that where you think you can control taking a dude’s knee out and be cool with it? For me, that’s a bigger issue than just saying we need to go out and hit somebody and you can get (a reward) for a good play or something like that. That’s one thing, but to promote injury, that’s a different story.”
Will the NFL’s approach make the game safer?
“Let’s not pretend they’re making it safer for everybody. It’s safer for offensive players,” Allen said. “I mean, a wide receiver or tight end can still motion from the outside in on a pass play and just absolutely blindside a defensive end across the formation. … We can still hit running backs pretty much any which way we want. So I think there’s an emphasis on — obviously there’s no more headshots, they talk about concussions. I think there’s a bigger problem because of these so-called concussion-proof helmets.
“Guys kind of throw caution to the wind. I’ve been rocking the old-school Riddell for a while and I just know it’s limitations, you know what I mean? So I don’t know, I mean, we’ve had a lot more head injuries, and maybe they’re just getting reported I feel like in the last few years. We all sign that contract knowing the risk, so I don’t know. Guys are gonna find a way to hit people. I mean, that’s what this sport’s about. Guys are gonna find a way to make plays, and we can limit it all we want, and you just gotta hope guys use good judgment at that time and nothing’s done maliciously.”
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune