Jared Allen said he watched his name being mentioned in rampant trade speculation on Tuesday. Ultimately, the Vikings did not trade him, but Allen said he's not bitter that he was on the trading block.
Allen said he had positive discussions with coach Leslie Frazier and general manager Rick Spielman after the deadline passed.
"I understand this business," he said. "There’s no hard feelings. I understand where we’re at in the season. As a matter of fact, I take it as a sign of respect that they still think I have value. But I’m excited to be a Viking. I really am. I’m excited to try to right this ship, and I’m all in."
Allen seemed upbeat Wednesday despite the uncertainty of whether he would be traded and the ugliness of a 44-31 loss to the Packers still fresh in his mind.
"Two things can happen when you lose like we did: You can either get in a hole, or you can get motivated," he said. "That was the worst defensive experience I’ve ever had in my career as a football player, to not make a team punt. For me, that’s embarrassing. I saw the coaches [and] said, ‘If there’s more I can do, let me know. Coach me harder. Coach me.’ I put it on my back, and we’ve got to turn this thing loose."
"When I made that comment, ‘This is the worst defense ive ever been on,’ it had nothing to do with the players, nothing to do with calls, nothing to do with any of that," he added. "We’re not performing. It has everything to do with performance, and that was the worst defensive performance I’d ever been a part of. That lies just as much on me as it does anybody else. That’s where my mindset’s at."
Allen was asked why he sounded so upbeat and fired up, given everything that has happened in recent weeks.
"We got our butt whooped," he said. "It’s embarrassing, I don’t like being embarrassed and I take ownership for it. I feel like I need to get better. When you hear all this stuff [about being traded], sometimes you don't realize how much you love what you've got until you feel like it's almost going to be taken away… I love the Vikings. I’ve put heart and soul into this place for six years. I want to win here. I love these fans here. We haven’t played good at home yet. We’ve gotten our butts kicked for three home games and they don’t deserve that. They support us on and off the field. I feel like we owe them more. I owe my teammates more, I owe my coaching staff more.
"The only way to motivate other guys, I’m not rah rah, I’m not going to go give a huge speech in front of the team and rah rah that way. All I know is to put my pads on go out there and if guys see me working hard to get better, they say, 'Hey, 10 years in he’s still working, I can work.' You can either implode, or you can get on your details and make something of it. We can’t forfeit games. We’re not going to pull a Grambling and refuse to get on the bus. Zygi is still going to pay every person in here. They better show up and play some football, that’s the bottom line. That’s why I’m motivated. I’m upbeat. Football is what I do, not who I am. My ups and downs aren’t deterred by the season. I'm very passionate about my job."