Scoggins: Allen in Chicago will take some getting used to

  • Article by: CHIP SCOGGINS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 27, 2014 - 11:44 AM

Jared Allen razzed his teammates and bounced around the practice field in a playful manner, which seemed odd considering the Vikings’ season was completely in the dumps.

It was late November and the Vikings had only two victories. This was a Wednesday, a day NFL players dread because their bodies still ache but they’re back at work after a mandatory day off.

Allen was in rare form.

“Let’s go,” he yelled. “It’s Bears week!”

Allen loved those two games every season, and now every week is Bears week for him. The former Vikings defensive end remained in the NFC North after signing a four-year contract with the Bears worth $32 million, $15.5 million of it guaranteed.

That’s a lot of money for a guy who turns 32 next week and has a lot of miles on his tires. The Vikings didn’t make the wrong decision in declining to re-sign Allen this offseason; likewise, the Bears made the right decision in luring him to the Windy City to replace Julius Peppers as a pass-rushing specialist.

Allen’s cowboy personality and relentless attitude will score points in a market that Mike Tice once referred to as a “tough-guy town.” Allen did not miss a game in his six seasons with the Vikings. He played more than 1,000 snaps in five of those seasons, according to ProFootballFocus.com.

Allen rebuffed coaches who desperately wanted to reduce his workload, and he played injured, once delaying a surgery until after the season. He put forth the same consistent effort in good seasons and miserable ones. He never cheated the Vikings, or fans.

Allen will bring energy, an edge pass rush and a figurative kick in the pants to a Bears defense that rivaled the Vikings in ineptitude last season.

The key unknown at this point is Allen’s exact role and whether the Bears intend to reduce his playing time. Allen still commands extra attention as a pass rusher, but it’s probably unwise to allow him to continue to play 65 snaps a game. Convincing him of the law of diminishing returns will require some concession on Allen’s part, too.

The NFL has a way of humbling players on the wrong side of age 30, especially those who have achieved a certain stature, but Allen is not running on empty, as some suggest. He takes particular pride in his fitness and offseason training regimen. A new team and change of scenery should help invigorate him even more at this stage of his career.

Reports surfaced recently that Allen was considering retirement if he didn’t attract what he deemed a suitable offer in his first taste of free agency. That possibility always seemed far-fetched because Allen still loves the game and still believes he performs at an elite level.

That message resonated unmistakably during a half-hour conversation with Allen and veteran defensive tackle Kevin Williams near the end of their tenure together last season.

“I don’t think either of us is at a point where we want to accept lesser roles anywhere,” Allen said. “I still think I’ve got plenty of good football left in me. You put that tape on and it doesn’t lie. We’re still smashing quarterbacks. Maybe we don’t have the sack numbers that we’ve had, but the disruptions are there. We’re still competing.”

Allen’s legacy and obsession with sacks feed his desire to remain an elite pass rusher. He keeps the NFL’s all-time sack list in his locker as a constant reminder of the history he’s chasing. His 128 ½ sacks put him No. 12 on that list and he needs only 13 more to catch Michael Strahan for No. 5 all time.

Will the sight of Allen performing his calf-roping routine in a Bears uniform take some getting used to? Sure. But his departure from Winter Park became inevitable. Both sides needed a fresh start.

The Vikings wanted to get younger on defense and to see if Everson Griffen can fulfill his potential. Allen gave the organization six entertaining and productive seasons and then left on amicable terms. The Vikings turned the page and Allen found a new home.

Who can be mad at that?

  • related content

  • Rand: Allen not the first Viking to finish on Bears defensive line

    Thursday March 27, 2014

    Did you know? Another prominent Vikings' defensive lineman wound up playing in Chicago.

  • Jared Allen agrees to deal with Chicago Bears

    Wednesday March 26, 2014

    The Chicago Bears have agreed to terms with former Vikings defensive end Jared Allen on a four-year contract.

  • Viking's Jared Allen just missed catching a TD pass in the endzone int...

  • For six years, Jared Allen was a popular Viking — for both his production on the field and his contagious personality off it.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Texas 4 Bottom 3rd Inning
Oakland 0
Boston - B. Workman 6:05 PM
Pittsburgh - G. Cole
Toronto - R. Dickey 6:05 PM
NY Yankees - S. Greene
Washington - G. Gonzalez 6:10 PM
Miami - B. Hand
Los Angeles - Z. Greinke 7:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - T. Wada
Cleveland - D. Salazar 7:10 PM
Houston - S. Feldman
Milwaukee - K. Lohse 7:15 PM
St. Louis - S. Miller
Arizona - V. Nuno 7:40 PM
Colorado - Y. Flande
Philadelphia - K. Kendrick 8:10 PM
San Diego - R. Erlin
Seattle - F. Hernandez 9:05 PM
LA Angels - W. LeBlanc
Tampa Bay 7:25 PM
Atlanta
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
(5) Auburn 6:30 PM
(20) Kansas State
Connecticut 9/19/14 7:00 PM
So Florida
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 9/20/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(25) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(12) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Toronto 9/19/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Edmonton 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Will Adrian Peterson ever play for the Vikings again?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close