Jared Allen Days Until Chicago Bears Season Opener
We at Bear Goggles On have decided to count down the days until the Chicago Bears’ regular season opener on September 13th against their arch-rivals, the Green Bay Packers. As of today, there are 69 days until the big day, giving us a reason to give you a profile on #69, Jared Allen.
Last off-season the Bears released a few big name defensive players. Fans were concerned that there was no one to step up and replace them. But then, the Bears made a big time acquisition and signed defensive end Jared Allen. Allen is one of the better defenders to come into the league in the last decade. In his career he has recorded 134 sacks putting him in the top ten all-time, as well as 609 tackles and 31 forced fumbles. These are career stats that most defensive players would envy. So, it’s no surprise that the team expected a league sack leader with Allen’s talents to add a spark of hope and excitement to a defensive pass rush that had been suffering for the past few seasons.
Sadly, this never happened.
Allen looked out of place on the Bears defense . There were games were it seemed he wasn’t even there. There was a big drop in his sack production. In 2013, as a member of the Minnesota Vikings he had 11.5 sacks. But in his first year in orange and blue Allen had just 5.5 sacks, a disappointing number considering the high expectations that were set.
Throughout the year, he struggled to put presser on offensive linemen and to get to the quarterback. It was hard to tell whether it was the chaos surrounding the team or the fact that he is now 33-years of age. Either way it surely wasn’t the season many thought he would have.
There is no excuse for Allen’s lack of production last year, but it is fair to mention the former coaching staff may have had something to do with his decline.
Fortunately, huge change has come to the team this year. New Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio is one of the better defensive minds in the league and will help to put Allen back in a position to be productive and successful.
Dec 28, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Chicago Bears defensive end Jared Allen (69) rushes against the Minnesota Vikings in the second quarter at TCF Bank Stadium. The Vikings win 13-9. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
Although, 2014 was a major letdown for a player of his caliber, Allen is expected to have a bounce back year in 2015. He will now be asked to play outside linebacker in Fangio’s 3-4 defense and will have to drop back into coverage. This is not a scheme that Allen is accustom to having spent the last 11 years in a 4-3 defense as defensive end, but he will need to make the adjustment fast. In an interview with ESPN Allen seems to have embraced the changes as a great opportunity.
“Obviously, I’d rather get my nose dirty going forward. But you’re a little out of your element, so sometimes that’s fun to be able to make a play on the ball.”
His presence on the field will help other defensive players like Willie Young to get better. Both coaches and fans are looking forward to seeing him get back to being one of the better and more electrifying defensive players in the league.