Newest Bears DE Jared Allen wants to lead by example
BY ADAM L. JAHNS Staff Reporter May 27, 2014 10:27PM
Updated: June 29, 2014 6:36AM
The first player to enter Halas Hall’s conference room after the first day of organized team activities was also one of the newest. But don’t misinterpret defensive end Jared Allen’s place on the podium as a leadership change.
“I try to lead by example,” Allen said. “I know I have a reputation for being outspoken, but I’m really not. I’m really not a rah-rah guy. I’m not afraid to call a guy to the carpet because I expect accountability. I think as pros we all should expect accountability from each other.
“But I didn’t come here to take over leadership. I didn’t come here because I thought they needed a figurehead on the defense. I came here to be a part of something. Guys like [linebacker] Lance [Briggs], who have been here, guys like Peanut [cornerback Charles Tillman], they’re leading by example, and that’s what I want to do.”
Allen might be one of the new guys, but he also is learning coordinator Mel Tucker’s new defense, much like Briggs and Tillman are doing.
“One thing is understanding how Lance is going to call the defense,” Allen said.
Establishing a line of communication with fellow end Lamarr Houston and defensive tackles Jeremiah Ratliff and Stephen Paea is a top priority after six seasons in Minnesota.
“[It’s] just kind of getting a feel for the guys,” Allen said. “But I thought, for the first day, it flowed well together. We had good communication. It picks up quick.”
Allen, 32, will be counted on to spur a quick turnaround up front, too. The Bears were last in sacks last season, and Allen averaged more than 14 with the Vikings.