Although George Allen said yesterday he has not been contacted by the Chicago Bears, there are indications he could be a candidate for the team's head coaching position.
"I have not talked to George Halas," Allen said yesterday when asked about the Bears' job. Halas, the team's owner and president, refused to comment on Allen, the Washington Redskins' coach from 1971 to 1977, other than to say that he last talked to him some time ago.
Sources in Chicago indicated that people close to Halas are pushing Allen, a former Bear assistant who was sued successfully by the team for breaking his contract in order to take over as head coach of the Los Angeles Rams.
Allen was the defensive coach for Chicago's last league championship team, in 1963. Once Halas won his lawsuit, he allowed Allen to become the Rams' coach in 1964.
A report in the Chicago Sun-Times yesterday said Allen is being considered for coach, for general manager or for both spots. But the story also said Allen may be acting only as a consultant to Halas, who has fired his coach, Neill Armstrong, while retaining Buddy Ryan, the defensive coordinator.
General Manager Jim Finks had daily control of the Bear organization until midseason, when Halas became more involved in the team's affairs after an embarrassing loss to the Redskins. Finks apparently is not being consulted about a new coach, although Halas has maintained consistently that Finks will be retained as general manager.
Halas has said that Mike Ditka, the former Bear tight end who is a Dallas assistant, remains the leading candidate for the Chicago job. But Halas has yet to interview anyone, including Ditka.