Jared Allen is coming off a somewhat disappointing season. For a normal starting Defensive End, 12 sacks is a good season. People have come to expect more from the Vikings playmaker after his huge 22 sack season that he had before. In Jared’s defense, he was playing injured with shoulder and knee injuries. Both injuries would have kept lesser players on the sideline, but Allen’s work ethic is one that doesn’t allow him to take plays off.
This offseason, Jared Allen underwent successful surgery to repair his aging body. Jared Allen turned 31 this April and doesn’t think that his age will have any impact on his ability to play the position. Recently, he was interviewed by USA TODAY Sports about how he feels and what his goals are for this season.
“I wouldn’t say it’s a good experience, just because of the fact I hate surgery. But I’ll tell you what — this is the best I’ve felt in years. I don’t buy into ’30 and you’re old. I feel it’s just like anything — it’s geared towards how you take care of your body, how you mentally prepare for the game and obviously having a coach that manages you well, too. But I do feel like I’m back there. I feel that’s where I’m at mentally, physically, and I feel like we have a team that can even make it better. When I get to that point in my career to where they’re like, ‘Well, we think someone else can do it better every single down,’ I’ll graciously step aside, enjoy my family and raise kids.” – Jared Allen
Two seasons ago, Jared Allen challenged the NFL sack record. It was one of the lone bright spots on a team that struggled all season long and amassed only 3 wins. For now, Allen (and his trademark mullet) are back in Minnesota working hard at training camp. His effort has caught the eye of Head Coach Leslie Frazier.
“His attitude thus far in these first few days of training camp, his whole approach, is refreshing. I believe he’s on the verge of having another big year. And he had a good year last year. Twelve sacks is nothing to sneeze at. But because he’s Jared Allen, sometimes it gets washed under the rug.He just told me, ‘I’ve been thinking about a lot of things and I want to do a better job as a leader. I know you ask a lot of me and I feel like I can do better and I want you to know I apologize for anything that wasn’t right in the past, but I’m going to make it right and I’m going to do a better job in 2013. I’m going like, whoa, where did this come from? You don’t get that out of your superstar — calling me up, just unsolicited, saying I want to do a better job from a leadership standpoint to help this football team. From my standpoint, that’s a big deal, when you have a star player that’s making that type of commitment. And he hasn’t disappointed.” -Vikings Coach Leslie Frazier
Jared Allen is facing some stiff competition at the Defensive End position in Minnesota. Young up-and-coming player Everson Griffen and the solid Brian Robison are both making names for themselves. This is the last year on all three players’ (Allen, Griffen, and Robison) contract.
While Jared wants to challenge the sack record once again, he has no desire to chase the all-time sack record held by Bruce Smith.
“Two hundred is tough. But 23 is reachable.” -Jared Allen