Dec 28, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Chicago Bears defensive lineman Jared Allen (69) after the game against the Minnesota Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium. The Minnesota Vikings win 13-9. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bears GM Ryan Pace has quite a rebuilding project on his hands. In the next phase of our Chicago Bears Roster Review, we look at the players who are currently on the Bears roster. We’ll look back at their 2014 season and look ahead to how they might fit into the team’s plans in 2015.
Jared Allen, DE, Age 32
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The Chicago Bears defensive woes have been well documented over the past two seasons. Last year they acquired star defensive end Jared Allen from division rivals the Minnesota Vikings in the hopes that he would help spark a fire in their align defense. However, it was quite the opposite. To say that Allen had a quiet year would be an understatement. Allen was M.I.A. during the Bears disastrous 2014 season. Initially, Allen was given a pass because he had a case of pneumonia that caused him to drop a considerable amount of weight and slowed him down quite a bit. However, weeks after the illness had passed he still failed to show up. Allen’s 2014 numbers were a shadow of the player fans had come to know, when he played in purple and gold. In his first year in orange and blue Allen recorded 55 tackles, two forced fumbles and only 5.5 sacks, a far cry from his one-handed sack days in Minnesota. For a player of his caliber and price tag at $12.5 million, much more was expected out of him. Of course, blame can not be placed solely on him because as everyone knows the Bears issues last year extended far beyond one player.
Although, a new regime has moved to Chicago and the restructuring of the Bears into a 3-4 defense is beginning to take form, Allen still looks safe; at least for the time being. He will have some adjustments to make but with his skill set he should be able to do it. At his age, there won’t be many more opportunities for him to shine or be on a promising team. Therefore, 2015 has to be “The Year of Allen”. Anything can happen during the free agency frenzy that is about to begin but if he is still on the roster in September he should make it a point to stand out. He must make his mark and an excellent impression on new general manager Ryan Pace, along with head coach John Fox and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. Hopefully, Allen will have a comeback year and become the defensive force he once was, one who terrorized offenses.