Antonio Allen was caught off guard by the Jets’ selection of Louisville safety Calvin Pryor in the first round. But the more Allen thought about it, the less he worried about this status in the secondary.
“I don’t think anything’s going to change for me,” he said Thursday. “I’ve put a lot of good games on film and I’ve worked really hard, just starting from the bottom coming up. Hopefully we’ll both be out there on the field. We play a lot of safeties, so.”
It took some time for Allen, a former seventh-round pick if the Jets in 2012, to work his way up the depth chart. And now that’s he’s accustomed to playing more, he’s not giving up his starting job without a fight. Rex Ryan and the rest of defensive coaches raved about his improved play last year, but the young safety was immediately benched in favor of the agingEd Reed – a move that ultimately hurt the Jets secondary instead of helping. Upon Reed's November signing, Allen was informed that his playing time would decrease. But the young safety admitted to reporters last year that he didn't expect to be riding the bench so much.
Now some see the arrival of Pryor – a hard-hitting and trash-talking safety – as a bad sign for Allen. But Allen said he isn’t worried.
“Not at all, as far as I’m concerned,” he said of potentially losing playing time to Pryor.
When a reporter asked why he was so confident, Allen smiled and said: “Did you see last year, man? You watched the tape? Man, I put on a lot of good tape, man. I’m just confident in my ability and what I can do out there on the field.”
His competitive spirit hasn’t stopped him from helping Pryor, however. “(I) give him everything I know,” said the third-year safety.
But Allen has no plans of giving up his starting job. That means, the rookie will have to take it.
“Can’t be afraid of competition. That’s the way I see it,” Allen said. “It is what it is. If he’s going to take my spot, he’s the better man for the spot. But I’m going to come in and play and do what I do.”
Edited by F.Chowds, 23 May 2014 - 06:50 AM.