The Bears, and the offensive line in particular, will be targeting Jared Allen on Sunday. At least they’d better be. So says Matt Bowen, a former NFL player and one of the best up-and-coming analysts going. Bowen offers unique insight as a relatively recent player, letting us into the psyche of today’s NFL locker room.
Jared Allen ended OG Lance Louis’ season with a deliberate and vicious hit on an interception return. Louis never saw it coming when Allen launched himself up into Louis’ grill and decleated him. His foot was stuck in the Soldier Field turf and his ACL snapped as he twisted to the ground.
Allen claims he wasn’t trying to injury Louis and offer his condolences to Louis (I didn’t know he died), but the Bears won’t let this slide. They owe it to Louis to make Allen miserable on Sunday. Here’s how Bowen suggests they go about their business:
"This isn’t about bounties. Nope. Not even close. This is about playing physical football.You want to get Allen back for taking out one of your guys? Run the ball right at him. Then do it again. And again. Make Allen the focus of your game plan early in the first quarter with two-back power runs that allow you to pull a lineman or send a lead blocker directly at the defensive end.Knock him down. Then help him up. But make sure you remind Allen you are going to put a hat on him for the next three hours.In the passing game, slide the protection to Allen, allow the running backs to get a shot on him with a chip block or cut him down at the knees.Hey, that’s legal, clean stuff."
Offensive coordinator Mike Tice claims the Bears won’t go after Allen. At least that’s what he’s said on the record:
"Bears offensive coordinator and former Vikings head coach Mike Tice agrees, no retaliation is necessary — nor is it encouraged.“I don’t see that happening, there’s been no talk of that” Tice explained. “That’s not how you play the game, play the game between whistles and when whistles blow and the ball is snapped.”Tice may like his linemen “nasty” but he doesn’t teach dirty.“I don’t teach that kind of stuff, never have you never seen stories about my guys chop blocking or anything like that, we don’t teach that.”"
Tice would be foolish to say anything else. It’s like Ozzie Guillen saying he sent a pitcher into the game to bean a batter in retaliation of another hit batsman. I just hope the Bears throw a purpose pitch of their own on Sunday and get a win in the process.