Last Chance for Allen?

The saga of Jason Allen has taken another turn, with the 2006 first-round pick getting moved back to safety. Allen already had a shot at safety last season but didn't pan out, which is why he was switched to cornerback this offseason. So why should this time be any different? And if it isn't, will that mean the end for Jason Allen's stay in Miami.

Those are two legitimate questions, and Coach Cam Cameron sort of gave an answer to the second one when he said, "My guess is he's going to make or break at free safety as of today."

Cameron also admitted that the experiment of Allen at cornerback "hasn't worked out the way we wanted it to work out."

The move of Allen actually coincided with Travis Daniels moving back from safety to cornerback, which is another story in itself.

But back to Allen. He did nothing at safety last year, only getting playing time on defense on a very limited basis. The issue, it seemed, was him having to do too much thinking on the field and not being allowed to let his athletic ability take over.

So why should we believe it will be different?

"Right now we need help at safety, and I have a history of playing the safety position," Allen said Wednesday. "I don't necessarily see it as a setback now, because I've learned so much, and actually it has helped me out. Going back to the safety position, I know the things to communicate to the corners, so it is actually going to help me out a lot."

Allen also refused to see this move as a last chance for him to convince the Dolphins to keep him around.

But the truth is there will come a time when the salary-cap hit the Dolphins will take for letting him go won't be so bad that they'll keep him just for that reason.

Let's be realistic here. This is a guy who hasn't played a down on defense all season and he was taken off the special teams until Channing Crowder was hurt in the Oakland game.

Does that sound like a guy who would have been kept had it not been for cap reasons? Uh, no.

Look, Allen has been a good guy since he joined the Dolphins and he has dealt with a tremendous amount of criticism with nothing but class.

But the truth is he just hasn't shown any indication that he's going to become a successful player in the NFL. Last year, the reason given was that his holdout set his progress back and a switch between safety and cornerback during camp also set him back from a learning standpoint.

So he was switched to cornerback, where it's more about technique and athleticism and not so cerebral. But that didn't work.

And now we're on to the next phase. Has Allen's knowledge and ability to handle the mental aspect of the safety position improve? Can he actually made a difference?

At this point, we have to think it was worth a shot because he obviously wasn't getting on the field as a cornerback. The feeling here is it might be a lost cause, but it's worth a shot to try something else at this point.

Who knows? Maybe Allen will surprise everybody and become a good safety for the Dolphins.


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