Conflicting Green Stories Emerge

Two different versions of why Dennis Green won't be coaching in Jacksonville have emerged. Believe whichever you think is closer to the truth.

Dennis Green looked in many circles to be a lock to land at Jacksonville to coach the Jags a week or so ago. The rationale was simple -- with the college all-star games going on and the need for draft and free-agent preparation to begin, the Jags needed to hit the ground running to make sure they were up to speed in an ever-quicker NFL personnel cycle.

So many of those same people were surprised when Green took his name out of consideration late last week. But, two different scenarios have emerged in recent days -- one making the regular news rounds and one coming from Jags insiders.

The first is that, after meeting with Green, Jags owner Wayne Weaver simply wasn't impressed with his demeanor, style and persona. While some have written that off as a league mandate to give minority coaching candidates as good an opportunity to get head coaching jobs as possible, it may not hold water. In the case of the Cowboys, Jerry Jones had Bill Parcells in mind all along -- that has become obvious since his hiring and stories of airport hangar meetings have come forward. In Jones' case, talking to Green on the phone was a formality to appease the league -- which has had a stormy relationship with Jones over the years.

In the Jags' case, Weaver was looking for a coach and a personnel man -- whether a general manager or not -- and wasn't looking for one man to wear both hats. Green apparently still wants more personnel control than most coaches get and, in light of recent events with big-time players like Mike Holmgren giving up G.M. duties to remain as a coach, there is reason to believe the days of the coach-G.M. are dying out.

The other, and perhaps more troubling story coming to VU from those inside the Jags organization is that Weaver's wife had a problem with Green. When his name surfaced and she got more information about him, stories of sexual harrassment allegations from Green's past (as well as Green slappy Richard Solomon) came forward. Both of the Weavers are staunch supporters of women's rights and causes and, from what VU has been told, the mere mention of impropriety on Green's case (whether justified or not) was reason enough to be a deal-breaker.

As it stands, it's looking more like Green will be out of the coaching ranks again for 2003 -- unless the turbulent relationship between the 49ers and Steve Mariucci collapses. But, in that case, Green will still get paid $2.7 million from Red McCombs as part of his contract buyout at the end of the 2001 season -- not a bad consolation prize.

* There are still many concerns among the Vikings about the condition of their special teams. Not only is speculation still strong that Jay Hayes will be fired, but there is also growing concern that Chris Walsh and Harold Morrow -- for years the team's top special teams players -- have seen their skills erode with age and may not be back in 2003.
* Former Viking Jack Del Rio has emerged as a recent entry for the vacant Jags coaching job. He is currently the defensive coordinator for the Panthers.

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