When Jared Allen was with the Vikings, he balked at the idea of moving from defensive end to outside linebacker.
On Wednesday, Allen chalked that up to “ignorance” while discussing the very same transition that he’s making with the Bears this offseason. Allen said that he thinks he’ll be doing the same kinds of things at his new spot, but that playing linebacker will be “easier on my body.”
“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,” Allen said, via ESPN.com. “I like it because it is testing my football IQ. I’ve always loved the game and have always been a student of the game. Sometimes it can get monotonous and you play the same thing over and over and see the same blocks over and over. You have to work really hard at not getting complacent with your technique. This is a totally different thought process for me and it’s really forcing me to study. 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.”
Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio has shared his opinion that the move will serve as a “rebirth” after a career-low 5.5 sacks in 2014 and it certainly seems to have sparked something in Allen this offseason. As Allen, who also battle pneumonia last season, pointed out, though, it’s just OTAs and he’ll have to prove that a break from monotony is enough to refill a tank that looked empty too often last season.