BR Rookie Diary: Armando Allen

Bear Report goes one-on-one with Armando Allen. The rookie running made his NFL debut last week. He talks about his first game as a Chicago Bear, his journey into the league and more.

It was a real thrill getting the call last week against the Packers. If you are in the NFL, playing up in Green Bay against the Bears' main rival is tremendously exciting. How could it not be? And the fact that I was able to perform well, to contribute positively to our team, that was icing on the cake.

I had 11 rushes for 40 yards. I could have done better but that's what I have so far, and I hope to improve on that against the Vikings. Anytime I can be out there playing, it's a blessing.

What I had hoped going into the game was that my speed and size would be an advantage. I'm not the biggest guy out there on the field, so sometimes I can sort of hide behind our blockers and get the yardage before the defense notices I'm there and on the move.

I'm a young player. I was lining up for Notre Dame just a year ago, so this is a major learning process for me. I can't thank the coaches enough for preparing me to step up. Playing at this level can be pretty intimidating if it is your first year, but I felt relaxed and comfortable on the field.


RB Armando Allen
Tom Dahlin/Getty

The first thing I noticed once the game started was how quickly the action was moving. Everybody says that is the big difference between the college game and the pros, and now I know for a fact that it's true.

Watching from the sidelines isn't the same experience at all. On the field you need to think quickly, move quickly. There is absolutely no room for error.

One question I had this week was whether I was intimidated by the large size of some of the defensive guys coming after me. No, I don't. You can't let yourself think that way or you won't be successful. If anything, knowing how large some of them are makes me move faster. I don't want to get caught and I'd definitely rather end of up top of the pile than at the bottom of it.

The Green Bay experience was an interesting one as the fans get so completely into the game. Being from Notre Dame I am certainly accustomed to crowd noise, but this was on a whole other level. I heard that in the old days Packers fans used to throw bottles at Bears players as they sat on the bench. I'm glad security doesn't allow that any more.

The game this weekend against Minnesota will be extremely important to those of us here who want to show our worth and want to secure a roster spot in Chicago for next season.

We expect the crowd to be loud and have planned our approach accordingly.

I've seen real intensity in this week's practice and I think that is why. Everybody wants to play to the best of his ability. For myself, I am spending considerable time studying game film and working on my moves. We had practice inside today to acclimate to the artificial turf and the field conditions of an indoor stadium.

There is a definite mindset going on right now. Everybody is working so hard. This is our job and we need to prove we deserve to be here.

Last night I took a little time off to watch my guys from Notre Dame in their bowl game. Unfortunately, they lost. I plan to call the players later today or sometime tomorrow. We've stayed in close contact since I left there.

Looking beyond Minnesota, I'm already planning my workout routine for the offseason. I'll take a little time off to rest and heal, then I'll be right back here working on the conditioning program. Then, before you know it, we'll be back at practice again. This is a great job and I can't wait to continue into next season.


Beth Gorr has been covering the Bears for the last 12 years and is the author of Bear Memories: The Chicago-Green Bay Rivalry. She is currently working on a second book about early Bears history.

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