"The "educated guess" by persons at the decision-making level of the Los Angeles Rams' organization is that George Allen will become the new head coach of the Rams.
The Rams are "leaning" that way despite being "very impressed" with offensive coordinator Dan Reeves of the Dallas Cowboys.
If Los Angeles hires Allen, it will be because of the special emphasis that people in professional football put on winner. And Allen is a winner.
While former Ram coach Chuck Knox had winning records in all five seasons with the Rams, Allen is regarded as having won more with less material.
Allen had the good sense or good fortune, or both, to win games against the Rams.
There was, for instance, the 1971 game in which Billy Kilmer led the hurriedly rebuilt Redskins to a 38-24 victory over Allens former Rams tin the coach's first seasonin Washington, in a Monday night game in Los Angeles.
And there was the last game of this season, whom Allen's Redskins beat the Rams and began the fall from grace of Coach Knox.
Allen's strong finish in a 9-5 season influenced the New York News to select him as coach of the year over Red Miller of Denver and Don Shula of Miami.
The Rams know that Allen was no wonder worker in the playoffs during his first hitch with the Rams and they also knew of his runins with former Ram club owner Dan Reeves and later with Edward Bennett Williams in Washington.
But the Rams also know," we've got to be there (on the field in 1978) with a winner; someone to do at least as well as Know" and, they hope, better.
As for Allen's affinity for power, the Rosenblooms have not operated franchises all these years in Baltimore and Los Angeles wearing blinders.
They point out that Allen might have abused his powers elsewhere because he had, or assumed, the power to do so, but he would not have that authority at Los Angeles.
They say of the propsect of hiring Allen, "What we're bringing in is a winner, a head coach only, and nothing else, for a couple of years."
Speculation about Allen rejoining the Rams has indicated he will receive good press in Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles Times asked some Redskin players for comments on Allen and, as the Rams said, "The players could have ducked the issue." All were highly complimentary.
Although he does not figure to be a tool of the coach as the player union representative, center Len Hauss was reported as saying, "I think the only guys who appreciate George are those who have had to learn what losing is like. I was here (in Washington( for seven years before George came, so I can see better than some people what he has done for us.
"I sometimes think it takes a stretch of bad years to make a man appreciate the good years."
Remarking that Allen treats his players "fairly," Hauss continued, "In fact, I see eye to eye with him down the line. My motto is the same as his: Damn the expense and full speed ahead. By expense, I don't just mean the money he spent to make us a winner, but the things we had to do, like working hard and playing hurt."
The Rams sent club president Carroll Rosenbloom's son, Steve, to the Pro Bowl practice to talk to their players after a league meeting Sunday. He did not stay for the Monday game.
He told the participating Rams he knew there was a concern about who the new coach would be but said the club was working fast and reminded them that his father had "a good track record" in picking previous head coaches - Weeb Ewbank, Don Shula and Don McCafferty at Baltiore, and Knox at Los Angeles.
Steve Rosenbloom reported he did not talk to team leaders such as Pat Haden or Isiah Robertson about Allen.
There wouldn't figure to be any hangups on legal language between Allen and the Rams, with both represented by the same attorney, Ed Hookstratten of Los Angeles.
Allen is available now without the Rams having to make compensation to the Redskins, and the Rams can have the 55-year-old coach with no longterm commitment.
The advantages for Allen are being able it live again his Palos Verdes, Calif., home; coaching a young club with draft choices and financial resources, and possibly acquiring O. J. Simpson from Buffalo, where Knox signed on, or Terry Metcalf of the St. Louis Cardinals, who will be a free agent.