New Year, New Allen

While the focus the last couple of weeks has been on first-round pick Ted Ginn Jr., last year's No. 1 pick is working hard in the shadows trying to make everyone forget about his disappointing rookie season. Sporting a new hairdo and playing a new position, Allen talked about the last year and his hopes for this year in a one-on-one interview during minicamp.

Q. Can you talk about your mind-set heading into this new season?

Allen: "I want to prove to my teammates and my coaches, just show them my capabilities. I don't think last year I gave them the opportunity to see how I'm able to help this team. I just want to prove to them I can go out and play at a high level."

Q. How much did it set you back to miss the start of training camp last year because you were still unsigned?

Allen: "It's tough on defense. I missed 15 practices. I mean, I pretty much missed training camp. I was playing catch-up pretty much the whole year and learning this defense, techinque, and playing safety, the quarterback in our defense, so it was real tough on me. But it made me stronger as a player and individually as well."

Q. You're currently being used at cornerback; do you prefer that to safety?

Allen: "I can play either/or, corner or safety. It doesn't matter. I talked to Darren Sharper in the summertime and he was telling me he started out playing corner and then he moved to safety. So it may be a situation like that; I don't know. Or I could play corner my whole career, it doesn't matter. I think the more you can do to help the team, the better off you are."

Q. Can you talk about your new look?

Allen: "Yeah, a new look, It's time for change, you gotta a new look. A lot of people don't recognize me after I cut my hair. I have a grown-man look now. Time to go out and play like a grown man."

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Alain Poupart is the Associate Editor of Dolphin Digest and To read him every day, visit and become a Miami Dolphins insider.