football

Allen expects to rebound for big senior year

CHICAGO-RicardoAllenalwayshasgoalsthatseemunattainable.
That'stheonlywayhecanstaymotivatedto"begreat,"oneofthemottoshelivesby.
But,then,he'llpointtolastseason,adownyearbyhisstandards,andhe'llstillsayhowhehadthreegamesinwhichhedidn'tallowacatch.
Sowhat'sthebigdealaboutnotintendingtoallowanyinhisfinalseasonfortheBoilermakers?Eveninpractice.
AllenalreadyhastoldteammateDolapoMacarthythat.Allenjokedhe'dgetapassinterferencecallonhimbeforeMacarthywouldgetacatch.
Notthatheactuallywouldgetcalledforaflagingames.
"It'sgoingtobethetoughestcatchofalifetime,"AllensaidThursdayatBigTenmediadayaboutopposingreceivers."Idon'tPIthem,Ijustgivethemsomethingtothinkabout.Inevergrab.SometimesIthink,'IshouldhavePIedhim.Butiftheyhaveachancetocatchtheball,I'mgoingtotrytogetitout.I'mgivingthemthegroundthateverytimeyougoagainstme,youhavetogivemeyour110oryou'renotgoingtocatchaball.
"IfeellikeI'vedevelopedarespectofallthewidereceivers,oncetheygoagainstme,theywilltrytogetacatchonme,theywillgoashardastheycan.Thatwasoneofmygoals,Idon'tnecessarilyPIthem,Ijusttellthem,'You'renotgoingtocatchaballonme.'"
Aftercomingoffaseasoninwhichhewaslimitedbecauseofinjuries,Allenwashappytoreportthathisbodyfeelsgoodandhe'shadaproductiveoffseason.
Hesaidhe'sgottenstronger,feelsfasterandaddedsomeweight,uptoabout191.Heknowshe'lllosesomeofthosepoundsduringcamp,buthe'dstillliketoplayatabout188thisseason.That'dbeacouplemorepoundsthanheplayedatlastseason.
"Ijustwantedtodevelopmygameabitmoretohelpmegetoffblocks,tohelpmegetmorefitsintherun,tobeamoreaggressiveplayer,"Allensaid.
Alwaysonetolookfornewwaystotrainandchallengehimself,Allenaddedaladderroutineandworkedinthesandvolleyballpitathisapartmentcomplexthisoffseason.Heactuallyplayedsomevolleyball,buttypicallyhe'dusethecourtatnighttoworkonfootspeedandkeepinghisstepslight.
Muchofhisworkhasbeengearedtowardmantendencies,bothinanticipationthatPurduecouldplaymoremanthisseasonandalsobecausehefeelslikehe'sknowledgeableenoughalreadytohaveafirmgrasponzonecoverage.
"Iwouldlovetoplayman,"hesaid."Ididn'tlikethemanIplayedlastyear.IwasveryconservativebecauseIcouldn'tdoasmuchasIwantedtowithmylegs.ButIlikeplayingman."
PerhapsiftheBoilermakersplaymoremancoverage-andhowmuchtheydomostlikelywilldependontheopponent-Allencanseeaniceboostinhisstatistics.Andifthoseincrease,maybehe'llhavealegitchanceforoneoftheawardshelandedonthewatchliststhathelandedforthispreseason,theJimThorpeAwardandtheBronkoNagurskiTrophy.
Notthathe'smeasuringhimselfbythat.
"Idon'tlookatanyofthatstuff.Thatstuffisformymom,"hesaid."Oncetheyseestuffonline,Itellthemdon'ttellme.Idon'tcareaboutthatstuff.Icareaboutwinning,andIthinkwecan(thisyear)."
Copyright,Boilers,Inc.2013.AllRightsReserved.Reproducingorusingeditorialorgraphicalcontent,inwholeorinpart,withoutpermission,isstrictlyprohibited.E-mailGoldandBlack.com/Boilers,Inc.
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