Allen Arrives Prepared

Jason Allen got himself a little behind by not coming to terms until a week after training camp starter, but say this for the guy: He wasn't slacking off while his agent was negotiating a deal with the Dolphins. That much was apparent watching Allen practice for the first time on Tuesday.

Coach Nick Saban said after practice he was surprised by how well Allen did at practice from a mental standpoint.

Allen, meanwhile, said he was a little lost because he's always looking for perfection and didn't achieve it.

But Allen helped himself tremendously during his holdout by watching videotape of practice the Dolphins sent him and also by working out for two hours every day in the sun in Atlanta.

I'm running, moving around, it was like a light workout for me today compared to the type of training work I've been doing in Atlanta, working out and doing that," Allen said. "Right there, everything's mental to me, catching up from a mental standpoint with the plays, stuff from the days I missed out. So that's the biggest adjustment for me right now."

Allen said his teammates starting calling me "New Money" and "Fresh Legs" after he reported to camp, but the first-round pick obviously was welcome with open arms.

Over the last 10 days, Allen spoke with teammates Travis Daniels, Marcus Vick and Frederick Evans, all of whom encouraged him to do something, anything, to get himself accustomed to the kind of heat he would have to endure in South Florida.

Allen also spoke 2-3 times a day with his agent, Mitch Frankel, constantly asking him when a deal would get done.

When the deal finally did get done, Allen signed for six years and receive between $8 and $9 million in guaranteed money.

"I came to a point to where, OK, Jason, you've got to understand that it's business, there's nothing personal, there's nothing like Coach Saban doesn't like you or the Dolphins organization doesn't like you," Allen said. "It's something that I had to understand it's just business. And that's my first time since I've been playing football that I've been in this type of situation where it's not just about football, it's business as well. Now, it's strictly football and I have to go out there and take care of business on the field."

Based on what Saban said Tuesday, it's not likely Allen will suit for the preseason opener against Jacksonville. Saban said he believes a player needs about eight or nine practices before being put in a game situation.

Allen will have had six practices, including a Friday walk-through, by the time of the Jacksonville game.

But Allen playing or not playing against the Jaguars isn't what's important; what's important is that he's finally signed and now he can start showing why the Dolphins made him the 16th overall pick in the 2006 draft.

"I'm going to go out and do the things I've been doing throughout my college career, but at the same time I have to take a back seat and listen to the wisdom and advice that the coaches and my teammates give me," he said. "But it will eventually change because I want to put myself in a situation where I can be the driver and be a leader on the defense. I feel that's why the coaches drafted me."


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