Will Allen learned the lesson when he joined the Steelers, now he wants to spread it to the Cowboys.
The veteran free agent safety who signed with the Cowboys this offseason said he thinks his new team can share the same physical characteristics as his old one.
“The first thing Ryan Clark and Troy Polamalu and Ike Taylor and those guys said to me when I walked into the defensive back room, was if you don’t stick your face in the thing, you can’t be on this defense,” Allen said, via Carlos Mendez of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “If you aren’t ready to hit — we don’t care about interceptions — if you aren’t ready to hit, we don’t need you.
“That’s a mentality. If you aren’t trying to hit, you can forget about it.”
Allen also comes with the background of having played in new Cowboys coordinator Monte Kiffin’s system in Tampa, so the combination of background and toughness is something they were hoping to add. But clearly the time with the Steelers made an impression, and he wants the Cowboys to start making impressions on others.
“Those Pittsburgh guys are mean on the field … to everybody,” Allen said. “It’s not just taboo. It’s not something you just say. You really believe it. You really mean it. It’s your mindset because everybody’s accountable to each other. And hopefully we can build that same accountability here on the back end, everybody from Brandon Carr to Mo Claiborne.
“I don’t care how you bring them down, but we’re going to hit. We’re going to let these receivers know we mean business. I think that’s the mentality we’ve got to adopt and have in every game.”
Spreading a message of physical play is nothing new, but at least Allen had the good sense to not sound like a nut, as Bernard Pollard did last week.