It is fitting that the Vikings defensive end Jared Allen weighed in on the sideline antics of Dez Bryant last week. This week, Minnesota is taking on Dez Bryant’s team, the Dallas Cowboys, on Sunday. Dez was seen getting in the face of quarterback Tony Romo and tight end Jason Witten. Most assumed that it was the wide receiver acting like a diva, once the audio was released it was discovered that Bryant was actually being supportive and inspirational on the sidelines.
Jared Allen spoke about how far you can go emotionally and physically on the sideline:
“The line is depending on how far your coaches are willing to let you go. I think when they released the audio, all of a sudden everybody’s got a different report. That’s why sometimes, no offense to our media guys, but things get blown up way more than they need to be. It’s a passionate game. It’s a violent game. Guys want to win. And sometimes guys need to vent and they need to express things.
“Heck, me and Frazier have been nose-to-nose on the sideline pointing each other in the chest. It doesn’t mean I disrespect him. It doesn’t mean I don’t love him. … I’m venting my frustration about what I think needs to be done to win that game and 99 percent of the time it’s never about the individual. It’s usually about a situation. You heard the audio from Dez, it was ‘We need to do this. We need to do that.’ And everybody’s opinion changed. Now if other players have to break you up, I guess that can be a distraction. I don’t know. It happens. I’ve seen guys dang near try to choke each other on the sideline and it never gets caught on tape. It’s a passionate game, and honestly, not that I like seeing it all the time, but when you see that kind of heat and that energy, you know that person’s invested. That’s better than the guy that’s just moping on the sideline by himself with his helmet off. When you see that kind of energy, man, so the line is wherever the coach will let him take it to without fisticuffs.”
It is very surprising to hear Allen talking about head coach Leslie Frazier like that. Frazier has been criticized for his stoic behavior on the sidelines during games, showing very little emotion even during the difficult parts of this disappointing season. It’s good to hear that he does get passionate behind closed doors.
Allen also talked about how long it is acceptable to vent on the sidelines:
“Yeah, it’s got to be ended. Maybe we can get a shot clock on it, right? I don’t know. If it becomes the helmets off, then it can be a little destructive, but I can’t say enough. I’ve thrown my helmet plenty of times. I’ve been nose to nose with coaches plenty of times, with other players, it happens, you know? And again like I said, that’s a sign of someone that’s invested. I have a bigger problem with people that are detached that are just like (whistles), you know? Counting butterflies on the side when you’re trying to get a win. So, yeah, maybe you shouldn’t go on all the time, but honestly I saw the clips, I didn’t think it was that big. Now all of a sudden the audio comes out and everybody’s like, ‘Oh, he’s so passionate.’ Give the kid a break. He was hot, for a minute. It’s just like family. You’re around each other every day, all the time, sometimes you need a vent session. Sometimes you need to just, hey, l-i-g, let it go. Move on.”
Jared Allen is one player who has had no problem being passionate during a football game. We’ve seen him disgusted, psyched, bruised, bloodied, and much more during his stay in Minnesota. And that is why he is one of the team’s fan favorites.