Was Teerlinck dirty?

Former Colts defensive line coach John Teerlinck not only had a famous incident with Byron Leftwich but a reputation of teaching players to go low on quarterbacks with the intention of hurting a quarterback. Former Vikings and Bucs lineman Brad Culpepper spoke out about Teerlinck’s methods and Tony Dungy’s role:

Culpepper contends that no money was offered for inflicting injury on quarterbacks.  “I would have done anything to gain favor with the coaches or my teammates,” Culpepper said.

Complicating matters is that, from 1992 through 1995, the Vikings’ defensive coordinator was Tony Dungy, who enjoys a stellar reputation throughout league and media circles.  But the defensive line coach from 1992 through 1994 was John Teerlinck, who found himself summoned to the league office in 1996 for a meeting with Commissioner Paul Tagliabue regarding Teerlinck’s reputation for instructing defenders to go low on quarterbacks.

Before we get too far down the road, let’s recall that during this time it was legal to hit a quarterback below the knee. Never should players be instructed to attempt to hurt another player. At a minimum, Teerlinck’s purported methods were considered in poor spirit and generally unacceptable. It could be argued that they contributed to the climate that made Gregg Williams’ programs possible.