His denials to the contrary, George Allen is not yet out of the picture as the St. Louis Cardinals' next head coach.
Because National Football League teams will be permitted to resume trading today and must make qualifying offers to prospective free agents by Friday, a decision on a coach is expected from the Cardinals within the next few days.
Joe Sullivan, vice president in charge of operations, noted yesterday from St. Louis that the club president, Bill Bidwill, said on television there Sunday that a coach will be announced by Friday.
On Saturday, Sullivan reported, a writer asked Bidwill if Allen was under consideration and Bidwill would neither confirm nor deny that.
Sullivan was asked yesterday if the Cardinals were philosphically opposed to Allen and replied, "Oh, no; not at all."
In the past, the Cardinals have been represented as not in favor of Allen's trading draft choices for proven veterans and resulting payrolls out of line with those of other clubs.
Sullivan was an assistant to Allen at Los Angeles and later in Washington. Sullivan was in Los Angeles for the Super Bowl and said coaching candidates have been interviewed there, during Senior Bowl week in Mobile, Ala., and in St. Louis.
Reportedly, the Cardinals have considered John Robinson, before he recently signed a new contract at Southern California; John Scanella of Montreal and Hugh Campbell of Edmonton in the Canadian Football League; Tom Bettis, defensive coordinator of the Cardinals, and Darryl Rogers of Michigan State, who recently was hired by Arizonia State.
Larry Wilson, director of pro personnel, has been serving as interim head coach of the Cardinals since Bud Wilkinson was fired.
Wilson is understood to be interested in staying on as head coach, but Bidwill is said to want to keep him in the front office.
It is believed that the Cardinals would prefer to restrict Allen to coaching if they settled on him.
At present, the Cardinals are represented as thinking they need "a big name who will have impact" and that is why Allen and Hank Stram are under consideration.