Carroll Rosenbloom, president of the Los Angeles Rams, said in a telephone interview yesterday, "I made a terrible mistake" thinking George Allen could operate as a coach only.
"I think George, did, too" Rosenbloom added explaining that the former Redskin vice president general manager and head coach "needed to be the whole works" at Los Angeles.
Rosenbloom said he feared for Allen's health and insisted "we never had a difference of opinion. I love the guy. If anybody thinks George did any wrong here, He's crazy. We never had a cross word or dissatisfaction, except that he might have felt we moved too slowly.
"Ray Malavasi (who replaced Allen as head coach of the Rams) was asked to comment on the change and said he didn't think George got a fair chance I think so, too."
Rosenbloom said Allen couldn't function effectively in the Ram organization. Rosebloom takes a direct, day-to-day interest in the operation, and he has a general manager, Don Klosterman, to handle trading and drafting, and a special assistant, Harold Guiver, to negotiate salaries.
"George needs to make trades - right away," Rosebloom said. "He needs to pick up the phone and make deals and take care of all the little things himself. It is all part of his way.
"George Allen can go anywhere they need an admin strator and coach and be a success . . . like in a Vince lombardi situation or like Chuck Fairbanks at New England. Many of the top coaches are that way, except Bud Grant at Minnesota.
"Tom Landry has pretty much his own way at Dallas. Different types of coaches fit into different situations. Allen couldn't have his own way here. He will go to a place where they have a great need to his type."
The club president gave as examples, "George Allen going to Washington when he did . . . Lombardi to Green Bay, Fairbanks to New England, Don Shula to Miami (from Rosenbloom's former team, the Baltimore Colts). Miami had a great need of him.
"Fairbanks wouldn't be effective if he were taken out of the New England situation and came here.
"George felt he could live with our situation here. When George became free of the Redskins, Klosterman said we ought to talk to him. And Klosterman is not an Allen rooter.
"I thought it would be wonderful if George only had to coach, not worry about things like (cutting) grass. We thought we could help him with the other things he did at Washington; we were wrong. When he came here he did worry about the grass."
Did Allen persist in suggesting trades at Los Angeles?
"Yes," Rosenthbloom said. "And we want a coach to suggest trades, but if we do not agree with him we don't make them. Usually, it is no problem: we are willing to go along. We don't want a coach coming back later and saying he would have won more if we had approved a trade.
"George wanted to pick up the phone and make a trade immediately.We do it slower. We never make a trade a coach doesn't want. Normally, the coach gets his way.
"It was beginning to eat at George. I was beginning to worry about his health. He gave up every drop of blood to his club."
Of walkouts at training camp by some players, Rosenbloom said Allen "had absolutely nothing to do with them. They're all back, except one player, and none of the cases was related to Allen."
"Maybe the situation in training camp was different than with the Redskins," Rosenbloom said. "The camp was upsetting. There were girls running around at the campus (California State University at Fullerton) where we train.
"It was upsetting to us, too. We won't go back there again to train.
"George has not done one single thing he could be reprimanded for. It (the dismissal of Allen) was a very sad experience.It hasn't been easy. Sunday was one sad day. But you have to do things at times you thing are best. I think I did.
"I love football, but I hate it when such a situation develops . . . when you're the architect. It was my own fault. I am extremely fond of George Allen. When you've gotten to know somebody so fine, you don't want to hurt him. This time it hurt me.
"He gave 1,010 percent of his life to the club. He worked so hard he frightened me. I don't know when he splet. He stayed up until 2 a.m. in camp. He arose at 6 a.m. He even thinks football when he is in bed. He is one heck of a coach."