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

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


Cleveland 86 FINAL
Indiana 93
Washington 81 FINAL
Philadelphia 89
Golden State 113 FINAL
Toronto 89
New York 121 FINAL
Detroit 115
Orlando 88 FINAL
Atlanta 95
Charlotte 98 FINAL
Boston 106
LA Clippers 97 FINAL
Memphis 79
Brooklyn 98 FINAL
Houston 102
Miami 102 FINAL
New Orleans 104
Minnesota 89 FINAL
Chicago 96
Utah 104 FINAL
Denver 82
San Antonio 107 FINAL
Sacramento 96
Milwaukee 93 FINAL
LA Lakers 101
Oklahoma City 112 FINAL
Portland 115
Boston 3 FINAL(OT)
New Jersey 2
Calgary 1 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
Washington 0 FINAL
Carolina 3
Chicago 0 FINAL
Tampa Bay 4
Colorado 5 FINAL(SO)
Dallas 4
Los Angeles 2 FINAL
Anaheim 4
Siena 63 FINAL
Quinnipiac 73
Harvard 49 FINAL
Cornell 57
Penn 69 FINAL
Brown 75
Fairfield 65 FINAL
Canisius 72
Manhattan 75 FINAL
Iona 79
Saint Peters 67 FINAL
Marist 69
Princeton 60 FINAL
Yale 81
Ohio 58 FINAL
Akron 70
Dartmouth 84 FINAL
Columbia 71
Valparaiso 56 FINAL
Cleveland State 53
Louisiana Tech 75 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 88
Seton Hall 77 FINAL
Xavier 60
Cornell 54 FINAL
Harvard 60
Yale 49 FINAL
(14) Princeton 67
Elon 51 FINAL
Drexel 54
Northeastern 47 FINAL
James Madison 82
St Johns 60 FINAL
Butler 49
Creighton 71 FINAL
Georgetown 62
Brown 58 FINAL
Penn 75
Columbia 50 FINAL
Dartmouth 60
Canisius 54 FINAL
Siena 58
St Josephs Brooklyn 35 FINAL
Western Carolina 86 FINAL
UNC Greensboro 80
Colorado 66 FINAL
Arizona 51
Southern Ill 72 FINAL
Bradley 66
Drake 59 FINAL
Wichita State 80
Indiana State 71 FINAL
Evansville 53
Illinois State 53 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 67
Northern Iowa 70 FINAL
Missouri State 72
Utah 42 FINAL
(10) Arizona State 46
Providence 62 FINAL
Villanova 71
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters



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 NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9




question of the day

Poll: With Adrian Peterson's suspension overturned, what should the Vikings do?

Weekly Question