BY KENT YOUNGBLOOD
Vikings defensive end Jared Allen is used to double teams. And, after posting 22 sacks last season, he figures to get a steady diet again this season. But he sees the continued improvement of fellow end Brian Robison as a way to make teams pay for that.
Last season – Robison’s first year as a starter – he had 44 total tackles and eight sacks. Allen sees bigger numbers in Robison’s near future. “Brian is having a good camp,” Allen said. “I think his progression as a starting pro has been phenomenal. His recognition of his run and pass stuff? Last year he came in, a first-time starter, and there is an adjustment period. I expect great things (this season). I mean, he’s a double-digit sack guy. I think he’s a 10-plus sack guy every year. You get that kind of production on both sides and they have to choose who they’re going to block.”
Allen didn’t play in the preseason opener Friday, but he was just as unhappy with the 260 rushing yards allowed as if he had played. Still, he wasn’t too worried about it. “It’s simple stuff,” he said. “It’s run fits, and making tackles. You know, 99 percent of all football comes down to technique, and being where you’re supposed to be. Then you just have to make the effort to make the play.”
Still, Allen said the difficulties versus the run Friday in San Francisco upped the intensity of practice Monday. Allen was part of a first-team defense that kept the first-team offense off the field in a goal-line drill.
“It’s a competition level,” he said. “You’re trying to have fun, especially these last couple days of camp, the dog days, you have to do something. It’s just good competition. Someone puts up 260 yards of rushing and you have to come out with a little bit of gusto.”