As the Bears open their OTA’s for this season, there are a lot of new faces. One of those new faces belongs to future hall of famer Jared Allen. In ten years, he has played in five Pro Bowls and recorded 128.5 sacks, most of any active player.
Allen is very happy to be in Chicago. For him, it’s like starting as a rookie all over again. “I think change is good if you allow it to be good. It definitely energizes you.”
After six seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, Allen decided to leave and sign with the Bears. It was a surprise move by the Bears, who were never even considered players in acquiring Allen. He just felt Chicago was the right option for him.
“Minnesota was heading into a different direction than I thought my career, my life, my path is going, so I made the decision not to go back there,” Allen said. “And I had options. When I looked at the total equation, this was a place where I can be a part of something great.”
As Allen is preparing to have another stellar season, he admits he wants to prove himself to his new team. “I don’t want to be that guy who they feel like ‘we shouldn’t have got him. When I signed, I wasn’t going to be that guy that wasn’t worth the money. My motivation to be the best at what I do is a self-motivation; it’s probably more of a fear of failing than it is necessarily striving to be the best.”
The adjustment to a new team is not just for Allen. The fans have to adjust as well. After hating him during his Minnesota days, they will now be cheering him on now. If Bulls fans can show love for Dennis Rodman, however, Bears fans can love Jared Allen as well, especially if he can help bring a Super Bowl.