Jared Allen created a stir Tuesday when the Vikings website revealed the Pro Bowl defensive end had shed his mullet in anticipation of his wedding this weekend. But Allen also talked some football with Mike Wobschall of Vikings.com after taking part in a practice that was part of Organized Team Activities at Winter Park.
Allen, like many veterans, did not participate in OTAs last week when they opened but is in attendance for at least a portion of this week's work.
"It's kind of like a half-way point like when you have spring ball in college," Allen said. "It's nice to come out, get out [there]. We've all been working out for a couple of months. Test your conditioning to see where you're at. Get the rust off getting out of your stance, just kind of moving. Some blocker recognition. Just so when you show up to training camp it hasn't been four or five months since you've seen certain blocks. Just basically kind of keeps things fresh.
"I always go about it a certain way. I always work on stance and get offs. To me it's not real competitive for person on person, it's just doing my routine to get me ready for training camp. But as far as the rookies go it's good for them to get in here and learn what they need to do and have some of that competition to adapt to the speed that's going to be out at training camp."
Allen said he "absolutely" feels this situation provides him the opportunity to be a mentor to the rookies.
"I was a rookie once myself and Eric Hicks [a veteran at the time with the Chiefs], I remember I asked him question after question," Allen said. "He really took me under his wing and showed me how to be a pro and really the ins-and-outs and the little things that happen in the league. It's always good to see the rookies that want to learn and want to enhance their skills and so absolutely I have no problem if some guy asks me how would I do this?"
By the way, it sounds as if Allen's mullet won't be gone for the long term. He will marry Amy Johnson this weekend in Chicago and then, according to a tweet by Jay Glazer of Fox Sports, Allen will work on growing the mullet back.
Veterans in attendance: During the one day of media access to the OTAs last week, the only veteran starters on the field were safeties Tyrell Johnson and Madieu Williams. But that has changed this week. In addition to Allen, the video on the Vikings website from Tuesday's workout showed defensive tackles Jimmy Kennedy and Kevin Williams; wide receiver Bernard Berrian; and tight end Jim Kleinsasser. Media access for this week's OTAs will be on Thursday so we'll have a better idea on attendance at that point.