Jason Allen was, for all intent and purpose, a bust last year. His rookie season was non-existent. There is more to this story, and it makes me think, this kid now has a chance, and maybe Jason Allen is improving.
Last year Allen spent the first 15 days of training camp sitting at home and building the dog house he would live in for the year. Both Nick Saban and Wayne Huizenga were, shall we say, less than thrilled.
Jason Allen entered training camp and was immediately thrown into what had to clearly be called hell. Not only was he being asked to play safety and cornerback, he was being asked to call the defensive back schemes. Instead of being in line and on his game, Allen was confused and because of that, when Allen was in the game, so were his teammates.
Allen didn’t spend much time on the field last year and his stats were nothing impressive to say the least, when he was. Yet he did have one of the 5 interceptions for the Miami Dolphins DBs.
Allen and others speak of the calm that is there this year. With Saban gone, Brett Maxie works with him at Safety and Mel Phillips at corner-back. In college, Allen played both, last year, Allen struggled with both. This off-season Allen is being asked to learn one position as a primary and the other as a secondary. Allen is behind Travis Daniels and Will Allen on the depth chart. The injury to Andre Goodman will allow him more reps.
Jason Allen has said, “I am out to prove to my teammates and coaches that I am reliable.” He says there is a fire in his eyes that was not there last year.
We will soon see if Allen has progressed at all when the training camp opens in the 3rd week of July. Last year, we watched Allen get burned in preseason in what seemed like every play. This year if we see anything remotely the same, the “Bust” label will be a lot closer to accurate. If Allen performs like last year in preseason, his psyche will be hurt as well, and after last year there is no way to tell if that will have a lasting effect on his Pro career.
Jason Allen is not calling the schemes this year. He only needs to concentrate on the plays and making plays. There are no excuses for anyone to hide him behind.