Conference Call: Vikings DE Jared Allen



(on the Vikings' pass rush and depth on the defensive line this year)

Yeah, you know what, this year, I mean, we've been getting it from all angles, which has been kind of nice. I tend to look more at the ones we've missed this year. I know personally I left three on the field that I had in my arms, along with a couple of other guys around here, so our numbers could be greater but I think we're doing a good job of kind of keeping fresh guys in there and then you've really got to give credit to our secondary. Our secondary is healthy, which is giving us more opportunities to get after the quarterback.

(on if it is difficult to prepare for two quarterbacks with contrasting styles)

Well, I think, you know, you've got to prepare for both just in case (Jake) Locker could come back. (Matt) Hasselbeck is a huge threat. I played against him back when he was in Seattle, and let's put it this way, I don't think there's a quarterback that gets rid of the ball as fast as him, maybe Peyton (Manning), maybe he's second to Peyton, so it is a tough thing to prepare. They both have different strengths, obviously, you know, Jake can run, and Matt's going to get the ball out of his hand. He knows his reads, and you're really going to have to do stuff coverage-wise to try to cloud his reason and buy a little time to get there. Right now, you've kind of got to watch the injury report and if Matt's practicing, prepare for him. If Locker comes back, then we've got to prepare for him.

(on if it bothers him to leave plays out there during the course of a game)

It makes me want to throw up, but you've got to have a short memory. I've missed plenty more than three in my career, so I'm sure I'll miss some more along the way, but I don't like leaving plays on the field at all. I like trying to take advantage of every opportunity just because it's so hard to get to the quarterback in the first place. It's one of those things, you keep sawing wood, you take the blessings with the misses and you just go about your business.

(on if getting pressure with the defense's front four players helps the rest of the defense)

I think so, to be honest. The first few games, I think we blitzed more than we have lately, and I like playing straight up. I think blitzing is a good change-up, but when you live by it, you can also die by it. For us, I think it cleans up our rush up front, as far as getting comfortable with who we're rushing with and knowing where everybody is going to be, and again it lets our DBs play coverage and the same thing back there, it lets them get used to seeing who is going to be where, and they can focus on coverage. The last few weeks have been nice. We've been able to get into a good rhythm.

(on if he enjoys going up against unfamiliar opponent in the Titans and against Michael Roos)

Absolutely. Michael (Roos) is a good player. He's a buddy of mine. We go back to playing against each other in college, and I remember playing against him when I was in Kansas City. This will be, I think, my third time playing against him. I always like a good challenge. He's a good left tackle. In my opinion, he's one of the tops in the league. It's always fun. It's always a challenge. Back in 2008, they had us there, and now, we finally get them here. I get to go play against an old teammate of mine in (Steve Hutchinson), and I'm so excited about that. With film these days, you're never going to surprise anybody. Everybody can watch film and see what you do, but I just like going against good players, and I think Roos is a heck of an offensive lineman.

(on playing against Roos when they were in college)

Oh yeah, well, he might have been playing the right side then. I don't know, but I'm sure we went against each other, and if I remember correctly, Idaho State won more games against Eastern (Washington) than we lost. (laughs)

(on if he is creating new moves or refining his craft at this point in his career)

I'm trying to master my craft. I've got no new moves. What you see is what you get. I just hope my technique is better than your technique and I can take advantage of opportunities. For me, I'm not a guy that is trying, you know, I'm not going to learn a spin move at 30 years old. That's just not going to happen for me. I do what I do, and hopefully that's good enough.

(on Kamerion Wimbley adjusting from a 3-4 to 4-3 defense and if it's a hard transition)

I've never been in a 3-4. I played linebacker in high school, so then in college, I went to putting my hand on the ground, so I would say going from a 3-4 to a 4-3 is probably tougher than the opposite way, just for the fact that you've got to get used to putting your hand on the ground and, you know, learning how—I mean, it's essentially the same rush, but it's just a little different when you've got to come out of the stance and you've got to process everything from a little different view. Yeah, it can be tough. Sometimes, you've got to know—this is what, his sixth or seventh year, and you know, if he's been playing one thing for so long, you get comfortable and sometimes it takes a while to get used to a new position, a new style, a system and terminology, but he's a good player. He's got good stats from the past, and I'm sure he'll figure it out.

*(on what Steve Hutchinson brings to a team) *

Leadership and just consistency. Hutch is an old grizzly vet, and he's just consistently there. The guy is strong as an ox, one of the best offensive linemen to play the game, especially at the guard position. So he brings that kind of toughness, that tenacity, and just the wisdom, knowing how to work and knowing how to be a pro and showing young guys the right way to do things, and he's a guy you can rely on. I know around here, he was a staple for us running the football and anything the offensive line, any question they had, you know, it usually came from Hutch with the answer. He was just a good leader, good teammate and good friend.

(on how much Steve Hutchinson can tell the Titans about the Vikings)

I don't know. We've got a guy over here (Troy Kropog) that used to play offensive line for them, so I guess it all equals out. (laughs) I don't know, I mean I don't know if you can change. You see this around the league all the time. Guys switch teams and you try to get as much information as possible, but at the end of the day, the ball's got to be snapped, you've got to play the block that's presented to you, so I'm sure he'll give them some information. If it helps them, great. If not, I don't know that it would. Eventually the ball's got to be snapped, and you've got to tackle Adrian Peterson, which is a tough deal to do.

(on if he's gone against Troy Kropog and how he is doing since joining Minnesota)

Doing good, I guess. I don't really see him much. He plays more on the right side, but you know, the only reason I knew he was from Tennessee is because we had him introduce himself when he first got here, and he said he was with the Titans for like three years, but he doesn't talk much, at least not on the defensive side.

(on if he prepares for Chris Johnson to run the ball well on Sunday)

I always expect people to play at their best. If you come in to a game thinking anything less, you're setting yourself up for failure. Chris Johnson is a heck of a running back. People forget that he did rush for over 2,000 yards in a season, and that hasn't been done for a long time. He's explosive, he's got big-play capability. Just like any other game, the best way to stop a good running back is before they start. We can't let him get a head of steam going, we got to try to hit him in the backfield. Otherwise, he's going to gash you.

(on if he's familiar with Keith Millard's name)

His name is cemented here. Keith Millard is a staple around here. I don't personally know him, I might have met him once at a Vikings reunion type of thing. The Purple People Eaters, those guys are going to die a legend here. They're all about them in Minnesota.

(on how much tougher it is to go up against an opponent you're not as familiar with)

It really just takes everything that much more crucial. You don't have tape of yourself playing against them. When we play in the division, you always have tape of the team playing against your team, and yourself playing against the guy you're going against. You really just have to break down film and watch where other guys were successful and where other guys failed, and try to implement that into your game plan and see what works for you and what doesn't work. But then again, you have to break it down week-by-week. Each week is a new opponent, each week is a new face. You just kind of get into your routine and you go about your business.

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