Aundrae Allison (Bill Haber/AP)
Aundrae Allison has been called for offensive pass interference three times this season, a high percentage given he’s not a starting receiver. Allison and coach Brad Childress are hoping he isn’t building a reputation for that amongst officiating crews.
Aundrae Allison wants to continue to be a target for quarterback Gus Frerotte on game days, but he’s also worried that he could be a target of the officials by gaining a reputation as a receiver with a propensity to push off.
Allison was called for offensive pass interference in the second quarter of the Vikings’ 28-21 win over the Houston Texans on Sunday. It was the third time this year Allison has been flagged for that penalty — a rare number for any receiver and especially one that isn’t a starter.
“We were just hand-fighting. They probably saw at the last minute that we got separation by getting his hand off me, but it was kind of ticky-tacky. It was a call that they made. I can’t take it back,” said Allison, who actually agreed with the previous times he’s been called for it. “The other ones I kind of pushed off. You can’t argue with that call because you can see my arm extended. Any time they see your arm extended they’re going to call it.”
Vikings coach Brad Childress has talked with Allison about the penalties and said there might be some things he can do technique-wise to get the issue cleared up.
“We’ve talked about that player-to-coach. I didn’t see it in relation to what I saw later when there was no call on Andre Johnson’s catch over Cedric Griffin,” Childress said. “If we’re calling this one pass interference then that was an obvious pass interference. I know it’s the eye of the beholder, but all you want is a level playing field. That’s all I want. I just want standards. I want the same standard all the way across. If that’s what this is, then that’s what that is.”
Allison is just concerned that officials in the future may judge him on past flags.
“That’s something that Coach Childress pointed out. That’s something that I’m going to have to get better at, trying not to use my hands as much because the referees see it on film and I got called for it in the past. That’s probably something they look at,” Allison said. “When they see (number) 84, they probably look at me pushing off, so I’ve just got to use a better skill and try to get off the press better in different ways.”
The issue could be especially pertinent this Sunday when the Vikings host the Packers, who have an aggressive set of cornerbacks.
“You’re going to see it a lot this week, but I doubt if they’ll call it, though,” Allison said. “When we play Green Bay, I can’t really picture them making too many of them calls. I just feel they go by really big-name guys. Those guys, Al Harris and Charles Woodson, do it with their play, but they probably won’t call it.
“I just have to keep being aggressive, because at the end of the day if you don’t they are just going to push you out of bounds, especially against a team like Green Bay. I would rather be more aggressive than let them push me out of bounds. They made the call. I can’t change the call at the end of the day.”
McKINNIE vs. MARIO
Bryant McKinnie said that he spent last week preparing to face former first-overall draft pick Mario Williams on Sunday, but the Texans threw him a curve ball in the second half when Williams switched to the left side of the defensive line, leaving McKinnie to block players with which he wasn’t familiar.
“The first half he was over there (against McKinnie) a little more. The second half it got to the point that he wasn’t over there that much,” McKinnie said. “It depends on the strategy, but it got to the point where he just wasn’t over there anymore. Then I had like three other people over there, who I didn’t really have a chance to study too much on film because I was studying him and somebody else. I ended up going against four different defensive ends.
“I don’t know what their favorite moves are, so trying to get a read from them, I don’t know anything about them.”
McKinnie said none of the three sacks the Vikings yielded came from his side.
The Vikings had only three penalties against the Texans, the least since they had two against Indianapolis in the second game of the season. “I think the guys did a great job of being aggressive but also being able to minimize those self-inflicted ones,” Childress said. “One of them I may take exception with, but as I said, it’s in the eye of the beholder.
QB Tyler Thigpen was a seventh-round pick of the Vikings in 2007. They were hoping to slip him through waivers during the mandatory roster trimming prior to last season, but the Kansas City Chiefs signed him and have been developing him ever since. In just his third NFL start on Sunday, Thigpen became one of only five Chiefs to have a rushing touchdown, a passing touchdown and a receiving touchdown in Chiefs history. The other Chiefs are a little better known. They are Marcus Allen, Mike Garrett, Curtis McClinton and Bert Coan. Allen, Garrett and McClinton are in the team's Hall of Fame.
Texans quarterback Matt Schaub suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament against the Vikings that could keep him out of action two to four weeks.