"I didn't know anything about it (playing OLB)," Allen said. "I played in a Tampa 2 defense my entire career, so there is a part of me that absolutely loves putting my hand in the dirt and that individual matchup with the left tackle in run or pass, or with the tight end. But this as a football player is fun, it really is -- the different styles of matchups you get and some of the one-on-one rushes it creates are really fun. Ultimately, it's kind of the same stuff, but later in my career it's easier on my body because I'm not technically banging every single day."
The change of position could be a blessing in disguise for Allen, who recorded a career-low 5.5 sacks last season.
"My body feels fresher because I'm not banging every single day and putting my hands on a 300-plus pounder and banging heads and that kind of stuff.
"I'm having fun with it. I know it's just OTAs, but being out there and seeing the one-on-one matchups that I've been able to create and the rush angles I've been able to create, so it's kind of broadening my perspective on football. For me, it's been a blast and I'm just excited to keep going."
With the Bears switching to a 3-4 defense, Allen will spend much of his time at outside linebacker.
"He did well in the minicamp we had here, and I think he was excited about it," defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said, per ESPN. "Like I told him, I think he can have a rebirth to his career here playing a little bit of a new position. But in the NFL today, you play more nickel than you actually play base. For some teams they play nickel 65 to 75 percent of the time. He’ll be playing his normal position then. So it’s not as drastic of a change as you might think."
"I just don't know how to miss games," Allen says. "It killed me that I had to miss one."
Allen totaled 55 tackles with 5 1/2 sacks in 15 games last season.
"I was less anxious and so much more eager to talk to them," Allen said, per NFL.com. "Just to say, 'Hey guys. I know the film from last year only shows 5.5 sacks. But don't believe that's all I have left. I'm good still. Really."
Allen also said he was willing to play a stand-up pass rushing spot instead of the hand-in-the-dirt stance he's used most of his career. "It requires you to refocus and rekindle your energy," he said. "You can't get stuck in your same old patterns."
Even though the
"You look at what coach Fox has done over the history of his career," Allen said, per ESPN. "I think we'll be very disciplined. We'll be very cohesive. With Fangio coming in, you've got a big 3-4 background. Fox ran a 4-3 his whole life. So I think we're very versatile in how we can use our players. I'm excited to see what the plan going forward is."
Allen has been reluctant in the past to move from a defensive end in a 4-3 front to outside linebacker in a 3-4. In 2012, when he was with the Vikings, he was quoted as saying, "I want to end my career as a defensive end. And I'm not playing a 2-gap, let me just throw that out the window now."
It seems as though the 33-year-old Allen no longer feels that way.
"One thing we do is we work. I'll be honest, I don't think we had a bad practice all year," Allen said. "Now it didn't always equate to wins and victories. We came up short. I think he's going to inherit guys that are eager, that want to win. That's one thing that was very prevalent in our locker room: guys wanting to win. I think coach Fox is going to give us that direction and give us that attitude, that sense of focus, purpose and discipline to get to where we want need to get."
|2004||Kansas City Chiefs||15||31||29.0||2||9||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2005||Kansas City Chiefs||16||55||48.0||7||11||0||0||0.0||0||0||5|
|2006||Kansas City Chiefs||16||77||65.0||12||7.5||1||3||3.0||3||0||11|
|2007||Kansas City Chiefs||14||64||55.0||9||15.5||0||0||0.0||0||0||10|
|2004||Kansas City Chiefs||15||10||0||0||---||0||0||0||0||0|
|2005||Kansas City Chiefs||16||15||0||0||---||0||0||0||0||0|
|2006||Kansas City Chiefs||16||16||0||0||---||0||0||0||0||0|
|2007||Kansas City Chiefs||14||14||2||3||1.5||2||2||0||0||2|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
|2004||Kansas City Chiefs||15||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2005||Kansas City Chiefs||16||0||0||7||0||2||0||2||0|
|2006||Kansas City Chiefs||16||1||1||3||0||6||24||6||0|
|2007||Kansas City Chiefs||14||0||0||3||0||0||0||0||0|
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