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Former Viking claims coach taught how to injure quarterbacks

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The NFL may not be interested in exploring the depths of the intentional-injury rabbit hole, but the disclosure of a bounty system in New Orleans and multiple reports of similar programs elsewhere has created a feeding frenzy when it comes to accounts of teams encouraging players to attempt to hurt opponents.

The latest allegation comes from former Vikings defensive lineman Brad Culpepper. who claims that, in the 1990s, the defensive linemen were coached on the finer points of knocking the quarterback out of the game.

We practiced techniques to injure players,” Culpepper said on Mike Bianchi’s Orlando-based radio show, via Jeremy Fowler of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.  “We would dive on a mat and aim for the knee portion of a pad like it was the quarterback, and we would practice going at that and trying to bust the quarterback’s knee. You knock the quarterback out, you win the game. . . .  If you pull on their arm and land on their shoulder, you can dislocate [the shoulder] and then they’re out.  We used to practice that, too.”

Former Vikings defensive end Chris Doleman disagrees.  “That wasn’t a part of it,” Doleman told Fowler.  “I would know.  I was a starter.  It was never about hurting a quarterback.  Intimidating a quarterback, knocking him around — absolutely.  One hundred percent.  But not injuring. . . .

“Maybe why [Culpepper's] going in that direction is this, for example — when you try to get a quarterback down, the way to strip a ball is to get his arms straight,” Doleman said. “If you look at film, when I’m going after a quarterback, we put our arms down on his arms, like we’re putting him in a bag, so he has no control over the ball.  Can’t throw it.  But that’s proper technique, nothing else.  Our thing was, cause a disruption in the backfield — but to get the ball back, not to hurt.”

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.

Thus, while it’s possible that Teerlinck was teaching defenders to aim low and/or to drive shoulders into the ground, it undoubtedly would have been something that happened without Dungy’s knowledge or involvement.

Indeed, Culpepper spent only two seasons with the Vikings (1992 and 1993) before joining the Buccaneers, where Dungy later became head coach.  Given that Culpepper worked with Dungy for four years in Tampa and only two in Minnesota and given that Teerlinck never coached for the Bucs and given that Culpepper isn’t claiming that the same practices were used in Tampa, it’s safe to assume that, if anything dirty was going on in Minnesota, Teerlinck was teaching it.

UPDATE 2:53 p.m. ET:  In the full radio interview, Culpepper specifically mentions Teerlinck.  Culpepper never mentions Dungy.  Culpepper also says that “none of this stuff went on in Tampa.”

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64 Responses to “Former Viking claims coach taught how to injure quarterbacks”
  1. Dynasty says: Mar 24, 2012 2:56 PM

    Another Rat.

  2. babyhorsemorgan says: Mar 24, 2012 2:59 PM

    Or, as he was more commonly known, John Teeraligament.

  3. babyhorsemorgan says: Mar 24, 2012 3:00 PM

    Vikes had a few weeks as victims, but you knew it couldn’t last.

  4. FootballFreeForAll.com says: Mar 24, 2012 3:01 PM

    Trying to find a way to get that no-name out there, maybe?

    “I would have done anything to gain favor with the coaches or my teammates,” Culpepper said.

    I bet you would. Shut up and go back under your rock.

  5. marcinhouston says: Mar 24, 2012 3:01 PM

    Yep, Gooddell is only interested in exploring one small market team as the easy victim and Gooddell will lie and evade to cover up everything that makes the issue larger even though the media and government are asking for his honesty.

  6. babyhorsemorgan says: Mar 24, 2012 3:03 PM

    The way players move around the league, though it seems like a risky proposition.

    “Sorry, coach, we had to cut ‘Bonebreaker’ Jones. He will be playing against us next Sunday.”.

  7. jackntorres says: Mar 24, 2012 3:12 PM

    If the NFL investigated every team as much as the Saints they could find 32 guilty parties. I told you it was only a matter of time before a story broke AGAINST the Vikings. How’s that taste Minneapolis?

  8. pftbillsfan says: Mar 24, 2012 3:12 PM

    Why does Dungy get the benefit of the doubt, Payton enjoyed no such treatment on this site. Tony Dungy certainly seems to be an exemplary coach and person but if you express doubt that staffs under Williams weren’t aware of bounties, how then can you justify believing Dungy didn’t know his line coach practiced injuring techniques.

  9. pgui88 says: Mar 24, 2012 3:13 PM

    Anyone can be a QB these days. Flag football.

  10. iluvbears says: Mar 24, 2012 3:17 PM

    I didn’t know Greg Williams coached for the Vikings back in the 90s.

  11. massappeal12345 says: Mar 24, 2012 3:18 PM

    At the beginning of Bountygate it was that Sean Payton “knew or should have known” about those said happenings.

    But, when the beloved Tony Dungy is the position of control, it’s a plethora of reasons why he couldn’t have known.

    The man was in control of the defense!!!!

  12. ajknox88 says: Mar 24, 2012 3:18 PM

    Can we get a number on how many QB’s were actually injured from the time that Teerlinck was employed?

  13. maryjbiznatch says: Mar 24, 2012 3:20 PM

    Get your facts straight, Culpepper! Back in 1992,1993, it was perfectly legal to tackle a quarterback below the knees. Guess Chris Doleman and the other starters knew that. Maybe that’s why you were a backup!

  14. mertonhanks36chickendance says: Mar 24, 2012 3:20 PM

    Brad your probly gonna be sued by the players you injured. It is nice to know there was any money involved though.

  15. widogg says: Mar 24, 2012 3:28 PM

    dungys just another prick from minnesota

  16. acetw says: Mar 24, 2012 3:28 PM

    Oh, so Dungy couldn’t have possibly known about it? pfftttt…
    I’d bet you would’ve posted this patch of nonsense differently if he was a coach of the Saints.

  17. ProDolphinsTalk says: Mar 24, 2012 3:31 PM

    So the first stop in the Rabbit Hole is Tony Dungy? My God. Are you going to tell me that in the end it was the great Vince Lombardi yelling “What the hells going on out here” when he couldn’t get enough players injured or out of the game?

  18. dbk2411 says: Mar 24, 2012 3:32 PM

    I would say this compares apples to oranges. Yeah a coach in the past instructed to hit low. How many coaches have done that? Probably plenty. Keep in mind the issue with the Saints wasn’t that they were instructed to hit low or dirty. It was that they were offered a bounty to do so. For those that can’t see a distinct difference between the two situations I’m worried for you.

  19. sf944 says: Mar 24, 2012 3:36 PM

    maryjbiznatch says: Mar 24, 2012 3:20 PM

    Get your facts straight, Culpepper! Back in 1992,1993, it was perfectly legal to tackle a quarterback below the knees.
    —————————-

    Bobby McCray’s hit on Kurt Warner was legal also

  20. theripster30 says: Mar 24, 2012 3:39 PM

    So the Vikings hire scumbags and have no integrity as an organization? Shocking!

  21. thepvyharvin says: Mar 24, 2012 3:39 PM

    Brad Culpepper is a no name idiot. Looking for some press??? Chris Doleman ,,,you know,the STARTER,, told it straight. Now back to the Saints stories!

  22. 1972wasalongtimeago says: Mar 24, 2012 3:46 PM

    Anyone remember Tony Siragusa’s driving Rich Gannon to the turf in the AFC Championship back in 2000? Seemed very fishy then. Seems very deliberate now.

  23. stavreafavre says: Mar 24, 2012 3:50 PM

    “It was never about hurting (someone). Intimidating (them), knocking (them) around – absolutely. One hundred percent. But not injuring.”
    Did Doleman take that from Chris Cook’s defense, or vice versa?

  24. footballrulz says: Mar 24, 2012 4:10 PM

    thepvyharvin says:
    Mar 24, 2012 3:39 PM
    Brad Culpepper is a no name idiot. Looking for some press??? Chris Doleman ,,,you know,the STARTER,, told it straight. Now back to the Saints stories!

    ______________________________

    Perv , is that you????

  25. greatminnesotasportsmind says: Mar 24, 2012 4:13 PM

    Culpepper? Why would a quarterback go after another quarterback? That just doesn’t make any sense. Maybe his 2004 season is tainted…

  26. expertop says: Mar 24, 2012 4:21 PM

    sf944 says:
    Mar 24, 2012 3:36 PM
    maryjbiznatch says: Mar 24, 2012 3:20 PM

    Get your facts straight, Culpepper! Back in 1992,1993, it was perfectly legal to tackle a quarterback below the knees.
    —————————-

    Bobby McCray’s hit on Kurt Warner was legal also
    ———————–
    McCray, his teammates and coaches pooled their money to pay out to whoever hurt Warner. But you really don’t see a difference, do you?

  27. dfatman2003 says: Mar 24, 2012 4:22 PM

    Wonder how many glass-houses have fallen in Viking-land today??? I’m sure Culpepper was the only one practicing the drill to injure the knees of QBs while Doleman and the rest of the purple people-eaters were actually trying to tackle the guy and cause a fumble for which they would just get a pat on the butt SMH.

  28. captaintriumph says: Mar 24, 2012 4:23 PM

    This guy Brad-are-you-serious? Culpepper is an absolute NOBODY. Why are we even listening to this? You could literally drag someone off the street at random and have as much credibility. Saints fans will grasp at ANYTHING to try to deflect attention. And by the way, yes in 1992-93 low hit’s on the quarterback WERE LEGAL. And there were no bounties – what a non-story!

  29. willisaldon9952 says: Mar 24, 2012 4:27 PM

    Of course nothing happened with the bucs, because thats where he won a SB lol

  30. nathan702nelson says: Mar 24, 2012 4:27 PM

    Did people say you were lying? Yes. Were there injured QB’s from those hits? Not many. Were the players getting paid to do it? Nope. But were the Taints found guilty on all of the above? Absolutely. So before you NO (lol) fans jump on this, remember, it’s rumors. And if true, still not as severe as a bounty program.

  31. scrapingthefloorioforstorios says: Mar 24, 2012 4:34 PM

    at least when the stains cheated they actually won something.

  32. iamwhodat says: Mar 24, 2012 4:37 PM

    Viking fans karma is a b**** ain’t it…. Who dat

  33. gb4mn0 says: Mar 24, 2012 4:39 PM

    Nobody should be surprised that the vikequeefs are guilty of hypocrisy. Ever since Bud Grant this franchise has become better known for the poor character of their players and their league leading arrest record then anything they’ve accomplished on the field.

  34. virginiaviking says: Mar 24, 2012 4:42 PM

    What are they gonna do suspend denny green? Saints fans be glad you got what you got. You got away with the coaches stealing all the pain meds out of the medical closet. That story got swept under the rug.

  35. thepvyharvin says: Mar 24, 2012 4:55 PM

    @footballrulz,,as sure as the Spring crappies are biting! How are you my friend and look at all the clueless Taints fans clutching for straws!! hahahaha

  36. iamwhodat says: Mar 24, 2012 4:57 PM

    It’s a non story b/c you all want it to be. The fact of the matter is a coach taught your players how to injure QB’s. Period. I’m going to now cover my eyes and pretend I never saw this story. Hypocrites.

  37. sfsaintsfan says: Mar 24, 2012 5:00 PM

    “The NFL may not be interested in exploring the depths of the intentional-injury rabbit hole…..”

    This is the most insightful statement of this website in the last four days.

    Finally, you get it.

    The NFL doesn’t care about other instances of “pay for performance” programs among the other 31 teams. “God Goodell” was just ticked off that the Saints lied about it…..

  38. themonster49 says: Mar 24, 2012 5:07 PM

    I believe it because its real. The sooner everyone shuts up and accepts the facts of reality, the sooner we can do something about this crap.

    It isnt my problem you think this doesnt happen, its your problem, and everyones problem that relies on you to teach or guide them.

  39. nowillrepeat says: Mar 24, 2012 5:09 PM

    Goddell has opened Pandora’s box.

    He will not like what he will find.

    Time to find a new commissioner who doesn’t eat his own young.

  40. nowillrepeat says: Mar 24, 2012 5:11 PM

    The NFL doesn’t care about other instances of “pay for performance” programs among the other 31 teams. God Goodell” was just ticked off that the Saints lied about it…..
    ————————————-
    If he would has asked, they would have lied.

  41. effjohntaylornorelation says: Mar 24, 2012 5:58 PM

    For what ot’s worth Culpepper is a trained liar I mean lawyer. What’s the difference!

  42. xcerebus1 says: Mar 24, 2012 6:08 PM

    So basically Dungy had no clue what his defense or his assistants were doing….on the same field he was standing on? No wonder why the only story concerning Dungy and a head coaching job was that he wasn’t offered one. The guy was a sham as a coach and sucks behind the TV desk.

  43. mediasloppy says: Mar 24, 2012 6:38 PM

    lol, in the early 90’s this wasn’t against the rules and everyone did it. It’s like players from every team every year has players who do chop-blocks.

    Again, this wasn’t a system where players were paid to injury other players. The NFL made new rules to protect the QB, because this was common practice.

  44. spawn201 says: Mar 24, 2012 6:39 PM

    Brad who?

  45. axespray says: Mar 24, 2012 7:00 PM

    We demand draft picks and the entire late 90’s viking’s defensive line to be banished from the hall of fame!

  46. 13curtjp says: Mar 24, 2012 7:05 PM

    Again the saints fans are unable to comprehend the situation. Saints players were being paid to injure others! How is that so hard to understand!

  47. rabbdogg says: Mar 24, 2012 7:29 PM

    deflect vikeQueen fans deflect!!! u gutless cowards

  48. joesuhunka says: Mar 24, 2012 7:41 PM

    who in the holy hell i s Brad Culpepper?

  49. onebucplace says: Mar 24, 2012 7:55 PM

    For the morons in here that know nothing Culpepper lined up next to Sapp on some of those all-time great Buccaneers defenses. I hardly think this counts as snitching since obviously nothing is going to happen based on something that occurred 15-years ago — I’m pretty sure it’s OK to talk about what happened in the past, it’s kind of important to know and understand how things happened in the past. Of course that’s way way way too deep for an idiotic forum like this of course.

  50. sfsaintsfan says: Mar 24, 2012 7:58 PM

    13curtjp says: Mar 24, 2012 7:05 PM

    Again the saints fans are unable to comprehend the situation. Saints players were being paid to injure others! How is that so hard to understand!

    *************

    No you don’t understand, they were NOT paid to injure players, they were paid to hit other players within the rules of the game!

    How else do you explain the utter lack of evidence regarding Saints players being anywhere near beyond “normal” where it counts – Illegal hits that draw fines from the NFL?

    The NFL looks at each and every play of each and every game. Where is the evidence of all of these “illegal” hits? There is none.

    In 2009, 19 teams had either more players fined that the Saints, or the fines were for more money.

    In 2010, 11 teams had either more players fined that the Saints, or the fines were for more money.

    In 2010, only 3 Saints players were fined a total of $40,000 for ILLEGAL HITS or other infractions which were against the rules.

    What about these teams:

    Steelers: 8 times for a total of $157,000
    Eagles: 7 times for a total of $135,000
    Titans: 9 times for a total of 125,000
    Vikings: 10 times for a total of $90,000
    Texans: 6 times for a total of $85,000
    Panthers 4 times for a total of $70,000
    Packers: 4 times for a total of $67,500
    Patriots: 3 times for $65,000
    Falcons: 2 times for a total of $65,000
    Cardinals: 4 times for a total of $55,000
    Lions: 5 times for $50,000

    Saints: 3 times for a total of $40,000

    Where is the penalty for all of the teams that apparently thrive on ILLEGAL hits?

  51. bdoubleoey says: Mar 24, 2012 8:03 PM

    Back in the 90s it was legal to hit a QB below the knees. It was ILLEGAL to have bounty’s. That is the difference u idiots. Im sure guys in every decade went at the QBs knees, until it became ILLEGAL. Saints fans think this will defleck the ILLEGAL story from them to a legal story. I have never seen such a pompus fan group for only haveing 1 good year in their missrable history.

  52. duece5 says: Mar 24, 2012 8:16 PM

    jackntorres says:Mar 24, 2012 3:12 PM

    If the NFL investigated every team as much as the Saints they could find 32 guilty parties. I told you it was only a matter of time before a story broke AGAINST the Vikings. How’s that taste Minneapolis?

    duece5 says:

    Hey jack(fill in the rest)……it was legal to go for the knees in the 90s dude!!

    Know the rules!!!!

    There was no head coach, no D c involved, no GM trying to shove it under the rug…..you are clueless…..YOUR SAINTS did it for 3 years with all # HUGE pieces in the works!!

    Get a clue……you sound hilarious saying…..:”I knew it…..”

    How old r u 12????

    Taints…..the 2009 bounty bowl chapms!!!!

  53. dcviking says: Mar 24, 2012 8:28 PM

    @sfsaints –

    I’ll try to make simpler for you to understand:

    The Saints got in trouble because:

    1. Not only did the coaches know about, they formed the bounty pools and had ex-felons willing to ante up for the pool.

    2. They were told to stop on more than one occasion. They didn’t.

    3. They lied — repeatedly.

    As for the fines you listed above, those were accumulated by individual actions and the fines were the punishment.

    I realized you’re probably not smart enough to understand the difference, but don’t say I didn’t try.

    As to main point of the story, if you want to go back against former Viking players for their actions, good luck. Also, go ahead and list all the coaches involved other than Teerlick (who, based on the article has been dealt with).

    If Vikings did something improper like teaching illegal tactics — they should be investigated and those involved punished appropriately.

    There — are you Saints fans happy now. I am willing to accept penalties for those action. Maybe Sean Payton and the rest WhoseYourDaddy Nation should take note.

  54. eugenesaxe says: Mar 24, 2012 9:00 PM

    So Dungy is above reproach? Funny, Payton was too, how’d that turn out?

  55. sfsaintsfan says: Mar 24, 2012 9:05 PM

    dcviking:

    I agree the Saints should have received some penalty for lying about the “program” that was going on.

    What you fail to see is that this website, among others, is putting this thing in a false light. They have continually stated, “the Saints had a bounty system to intentionally injure players” and that is just not the case.

    At the most, the Saints had an “incentive” program that, among other things, had payments for players being knocked out of a game legally.

    What is interesting is that the NFL’s own program to find out about ILLEGAL hits and fine those responsible, found so little of it during the time period in question. Don’t you find it at least a little bit interesting that the Saints were guilty of so FEW fines for illegal hits during the time period in question? Doesn’t it at least appear as though other teams were far more “violent” during that period and individual players were guilty of far more illegal hits?

    Again, I am ok with the Saints being punished for this. It is deserved, but the level of punishment and the NFL sweeping under the rug all of the other “bounty” programs is what has me ticked off.

    Finally, through most of the time period in question, the Saints defense was generally regarded as “soft” and not a “dirty” defense.

  56. saintsdat says: Mar 24, 2012 9:36 PM

    Also to note, for all of those that really believe that the NFL did this because they are concerned about safety, tune into the NFL Network Monday 4-5 pm Central and watch the NFL network glorify hard hitting, injuries, bounties. on their program 10 hardest tacklers in NFL history.

    If they truly cared about any safety issues they would not be putting a show on their own network glorifying it.

  57. rabbdogg says: Mar 25, 2012 12:00 AM

    nooo guys…nooo they dont want to look at actual game film and see actual facts that show how this is total bs…they would much rather stick to fake outrage and made up “articles” to continue their whining girly witch hunt..

  58. modellforprez says: Mar 25, 2012 1:10 AM

    knock the quarteback out you win the game. is it me or is the nfl lookin more&more like a joke. can u say wwe

  59. rabbdogg says: Mar 25, 2012 1:34 AM

    nooo..dont bring out facts.dont watch the actual game film and see for yourself.lets just stick to making things up and fake outrage as we carry on this witch hunt…facts are wack

  60. 2irishanml says: Mar 25, 2012 9:03 AM

    You people are unbeliveable. It doesn’t matter if someone injures someone because they got paid. If you go out there with the intent to take someone out of a game by injuring them, paid or not, you are in the wrong. Why aren’t you getting it?? You never ever for any reason try to end someone elses career. If you do try to take someone out of a game because you are not talented enough to stop them, then you are a coward, moron and a loser. Anyone remember, may the best man win. Hurting someone is cheating and takes away from the nobility of the game. The object is to stop them not to break their bodies. If someone is hurt due to a hard hit, we all know that happens in every sport, but to injure someone is cowardice and criminal.

  61. rugdog100 says: Mar 25, 2012 10:01 AM

    The issue is the Saints in the here and now, not the history of violence in the NFL… lol. Every team has this sort of story in their history… evey team!

  62. eagles512 says: Mar 25, 2012 10:37 AM

    Seems like an awful lot of spinning to say Dungy didn’t know about it.

  63. superdomehunters says: Mar 25, 2012 7:30 PM

    Ahhhh, refreshing like lemonade in the shade. Vikings have been dirty since the 70s. Not to mention every other scandal theyre players been involved in. And still don’t have a Ring. Let me take another sip. Ahhhhhh

  64. thankheavenfornumberseven says: Mar 25, 2012 10:45 PM

    Sounds like one nobody said it happened and one Hall of Famer said it didn’t happen. Maybe we need to do a few more interviews?

    Teerlinck did have a reputation as kind of a d-bag.

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