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Jared Allen says the Panthers were “cliche,” but in a good way

NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 15:  Jared Allen #69 of the Carolina Panthers talks to the offense on the field during a game against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium on November 15, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Panthers have the league MVP, a former defensive player of the year, talent on either side of the ball, a two-time coach of the year, and a base of personnel that should allow them to be successful for the next few years.

But a guy who parachuted in midseason said he was surprised what he found in a locker room which included more than its share of stars included no drama whatsoever.

During an appearance on the NFL Network, retired defensive end Jared Allen said he was surprised what he saw when he came over in a trade from Chicago.

“I was humbled this last year being on a team that embraced literally ever cliché you could possibly think of,” Allen said, via Bill Voth of Black and Blue Review. “That place is literally a walking cliché. I got in there and was like, this can’t be real. It’s like a mirage, and no one knows about it? This is cool, . . . There’s zero drama. Zero. I mean, I’ve never been on a team where there’s zero locker room drama at all.”

Allen pointed most of the credit for that toward coach Ron Rivera.

“It’s all because coach Rivera has set this culture that it is a player-run locker room, but that stems from the head coach,” Allen said. “He’s in there, he knows the problems, he’s up to date, nothing’s getting by him. He addresses things honestly — ‘This is the way we operate, but I want you to be yourselves. Be yourselves within our operation.’

“Guys respect that and guys respond to that. And they coach the crap out of you, but in a good way. It’s not overly done.”

Of course, that chemistry changed this week with the release of defensive end Charles Johnson, a team captain and one of the more consistently productive players there the last five years (at least other than this year, when he was injured). Keeping that kind of continuity with a changing roster will be a challenge for Rivera, but he’s shown the last three years that he has a handle on his team.

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21 Responses to “Jared Allen says the Panthers were “cliche,” but in a good way”
  1. boobsanders says: Mar 4, 2016 2:27 PM

    There was zero drama because you joined a 15-1 team and decided to retire after the superbowl, barely spending a couple months over there. How do you compare that to spending 5+ years in Kansas or Minnesota, struggling to make the playoffs. Of course there’s gonna be drama, nobody likes to lose.

  2. smarterfootball says: Mar 4, 2016 2:35 PM

    Didn’t one player punch another player there this season? Is that not drama?

  3. vicnocal says: Mar 4, 2016 2:36 PM

    Ron Rivera was Lovie Smith’s defensive coordinator when the Bears made the Super Bowl, and Lovie decided to let him go.

  4. gscott104 says: Mar 4, 2016 2:42 PM

    Cliché?

    “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

  5. mrlaloosh says: Mar 4, 2016 2:42 PM

    Still lost the biggest game of the year. “If you’re not first, you’re last”.

  6. hahalolrofl says: Mar 4, 2016 2:48 PM

    The good old days weren’t.

    Drama free with Newton and Norman? He needs to get checked out for CTE.

    He is just pining for his playing days.

  7. collectordude says: Mar 4, 2016 2:52 PM

    Pretty much the same team that went 7-8-1 in 2014.

  8. sdsmooth says: Mar 4, 2016 2:56 PM

    Jared,
    You played for traditional doormats before getting to Carolina. Of course it was different there. You were on a 15-1 team coming from the Bears and Vikings. It’s like going from the outhouse to the penthouse.

  9. wozzmann1955 says: Mar 4, 2016 3:12 PM

    Jared’s a stain on the big sheet of life folks

  10. 1heatedtoombrayduh says: Mar 4, 2016 3:23 PM

    kony ealy had like 3 sacks and an int and a ff or fr…in the SUPERBOWL…I think that type of game made Charles Johnson quite expendable

  11. ajames35 says: Mar 4, 2016 3:39 PM

    “Ron Rivera was Lovie Smith’s defensive coordinator when the Bears made the Super Bowl, and Lovie decided to let him go.”
    ________________

    It’s comical, and a little poetic, how it ultimately turned out for both of them.

  12. jag1959 says: Mar 4, 2016 3:47 PM

    1heatedtoombrayduh says:
    Mar 4, 2016 3:23 PM
    kony ealy had like 3 sacks and an int and a ff or fr…in the SUPERBOWL…I think that type of game made Charles Johnson quite expendable
    __________________

    Kony Ealy @ < $1M vs Johnson @ $11.75M probably had significantly more to do with it

  13. jessethegreat says: Mar 4, 2016 4:12 PM

    Just think, Jared… Had you not chased the money, you may have spent your entire career avoiding the word schism altogether.

  14. xxbarklikeadogxx says: Mar 4, 2016 5:00 PM

    No drama with Camera telling everybody every five minutes that he is greater than God? Really?

  15. derklempner says: Mar 4, 2016 5:55 PM

    mrlaloosh wrote: Still lost the biggest game of the year. “If you’re not first, you’re last”.

    I think the quote you meant to use was, “Second place? That’s a fancy word for losing.”

  16. arktikman says: Mar 4, 2016 7:12 PM

    I wonder if removing Steve Smith helped the locker room? Not trolling. Just asking.

  17. fracdj says: Mar 5, 2016 6:12 AM

    If you’re not first, you’re NFC champions, right ? Go back to your arm chair.
    Some people who comment on these articles say some of the most ridiculous things.

    Not even a Carolina fan, but facts are facts.

  18. Let's Complain About Cam Newton says: Mar 6, 2016 8:59 AM

    fracdj says:
    Mar 5, 2016 6:12 AM

    If you’re not first, you’re NFC champions, right ? Go back to your arm chair.
    Some people who comment on these articles say some of the most ridiculous things.

    Not even a Carolina fan, but facts are facts.

    ———

    That Ricky Bobby garbage about being the “first loser” or whatever is well into #hottaek territory. Talk is cheap-winning 15 games in a regular season (which ties the all-time regular season record for the NFC by the way) isn’t easy.

    The funniest part is that, unless you’re a Broncos fan, the Panthers’ 2015 season which was supposedly worth nothing was better than whatever your favorite team did. I wonder if these people actually think about what they’re saying before they slam that “Submit” button.

  19. lapantherfan86 says: Mar 6, 2016 1:09 PM

    Let’s complain about Cam Newton, you are my favorite poster.

    All the “drama” about the Panthers this season was caused by knuckleheads and jealous wannabes from outside the locker room. Arrests and allegations piled on the league this season, and the Panthers were criticized for dancing. Good for them for ignoring the haters and putting together a great season.

  20. Let's Complain About Cam Newton says: Mar 6, 2016 9:44 PM

    All the “drama” about the Panthers this season was caused by knuckleheads and jealous wannabes from outside the locker room. Arrests and allegations piled on the league this season, and the Panthers were criticized for dancing. Good for them for ignoring the haters and putting together a great season.

    ——-

    The Panthers do have a very tight locker room. Rivera comes from a military family but he does a great job balancing that influence with the understanding that his players aren’t football robots and have their own personalities. Probably the most dramatic thing that happened all year was the Newton/Norman training camp skirmish and even that was vastly overblown to fit a media narrative about what a hothead diva Cam supposedly is.

    It never ceased to amaze me that the greatest sin of the most controversial, polarizing player in the entire league in 2015 was that he had too much fun. Football isn’t war and Cam Newton isn’t the first player to have a choreographed celebration. If it wasn’t that, it was because he was too mopey or didn’t want to talk to the media or this or that. I don’t know why it’s so important to Joe NFL Fan for a player to stand at a podium in a suit mere minutes after a crushingly disappointing loss and recite cliches with a thousand yard stare on his face. But history has shown that it is for some reason.

    I’m no old timer when it comes to the NFL (my first live Panthers game was during the disastrous 1-15 2001 season) but I remember Peyton Manning catching a lot of the same BS over the first several years of his career. The iconic Manning we know now – the NFL elder statesman and living embodiment of professionalism who’s so classy that his mere presence causes Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra to rise from the dead and put in some work on the putting green with a bourbon on the rocks – didn’t really start to emerge until after Super Bowl XLI. It was a very mixed bag before that. His Colts started out horribly in the playoffs – they went one and done three years in a row including a humiliating 41-zip loss to the Jets. I still remember him fuming at the podium and making his infamous “protection problems” remark after the Colts lost to the Steelers in the 2005/06 Divisional Playoffs. Fans would slam him as a soft stat-padding choker who racked up paper awards in the regular season but couldn’t perform when the pressure was on in the playoffs. This wasn’t really that long ago and I think Manning remembers how it felt hence his comments about Cam following the Super Bowl.

  21. jgedgar70 says: Mar 7, 2016 4:20 PM

    The lack of drama despite massive personalities is easy to explain:

    Ron Rivera was a player on the 1985 Bears. Has any one team, in any organized sport, had any more personality than that one, including the coaching staff? And they had plenty of drama.

    Rivera knows what it’s like to be in a locker room full of talented players with a ton of personality (or ego, if you prefer). He’s the perfect guy to be coaching this team. All we have to do is get over that last step.

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