EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen has caused consternation among opposing left tackles for years, never more so than when he led the league with 22 sacks last season.
But when Jacksonville Jaguars left tackle Eugene Monroe had a problem with Allen on Sunday it was over a play that wasn’t a sack. Monroe believes Allen took an unnecessary hit on Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert during Minnesota’s 26-23 overtime win, but the defensive end says Monroe is just another disgruntled tackle who took a beating on the field.
“He’s just an O-lineman whining about getting his quarterback hit and upset they lost the game,” Allen said Thursday in response to Monroe’s comments in the Florida Times-Union. “Again, I ain’t got time for that. I’m not worried about them. You know what, they get a free play. First of all, I don’t think I was offsides, but he didn’t blow the whistle until after his guy got sacked. So, it happens.”
On Jacksonville’s second offensive play, Allen blew past Monroe and had a clear path to Gabbert, hitting him from behind and bringing him down for what appeared to be his first sack of the season. But the replacement officials working the game called Allen for an offsides penalty. No whistle was blown before Allen reached Gabbert, but Monroe felt there should have been a whistle and that a veteran player such as Allen should have known to hold up.
“He jumped offside and it was (expletive),” Monroe told the Florida Times-Union. “They should have stopped the play. That just shouldn’t happen. He knows better than to hit the quarterback in that situation. … I don’t remember hearing the whistle, but I know I saw a flag. To take a shot at the quarterback like that, especially a veteran player who understands the game, that didn’t start his day off with me on a good note.”
Monroe held Allen without a sack Sunday, in part because of the call. Allen, however, believes the replacement officials might have cost him the sack.
“Watching it, it looked close,” Allen said. “I don’t know if I got the same line judge that I’m used to, that maybe they give me the benefit of the doubt. I think the worst part was he was so late that it made it look worse than it was. But after watching it on film, it was pretty close. I thought I was right on it. So, I’ve just got to make up for it and grab a couple more after they took that one from me.”
Minnesota’s coaches have refused comment on Allen’s penalty. Allen, who went without a tackle Sunday, was double-teamed often, according to defensive coordinator Alan Williams. The Vikings did finish with seven quarterback hits and a sack each by cornerback Chris Cook and linebacker Erin Henderson. And Williams was pleased with the pressure Allen provided, even if it didn’t show up on the stats sheet.
“Not sacks that counted,” Williams said. “He got off the ball unbelievably the first or second pass that they had. It was tough with their hard counts, the way they were using them and what they were doing and how they were doing it. He had pressure. Whenever they have to chip you, turn the protection to you, do those types of things, it leaves other guys one-on-one and it helps the defense as a whole. It may not have seemed like he had a huge effect on the ball game, but he does every time he lines up.”