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."
Rodgers played all 16 regular-season games in 2014 for just the second time in the last five seasons, completing 65.6 percent of his passes while racking up 4,381 passing yards, 38 passing touchdowns and five interceptions. He also added two more touchdowns on the ground while gaining 269 rushing yards on 43 carries.
Several other awards were handed out at the ceremony Saturday, as follows.
AP Offensive Player of the Year:
AP Defensive Player of the Year:
AP Offensive Rookie of the Year:
AP Defensive Rookie of the Year:
AP Comeback Player of the Year:
AP Coach of the Year: Bruce Arians,
AP Assistant Coach of the Year: Todd Bowles, Cardinals
Walter Payton Man of Year:
Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award:
Salute to Service Award:
NFL.com Fantasy Player of the Year:
FedEx Air Player of the Year: Aaron Rodgers, Packers
FedEx Ground Player of the Year: Le'Veon Bell, Steelers
Deacon Jones Award:
Greatness on the Road Award:
Bridgestone Performance Play of the Year: Odell Beckham one-handed catch
Don Shula High School Coach of the Year: Bruce Larson, Somerset (Wisconsin) High School
In addition, eight finalists were voted into the Hall of Fame: running back Jerome Bettis, wide receiver Tim Brown, defensive end/linebacker Charles Haley, linebacker Junior Seau, guard Will Shields, center Mick Tingelhoff and executives Bill Polian and Ron Wolf.
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