Q&A: Will Allen

Will Allen played for Tampa Bay from 2004 through 2009 and was the Bucs' special-teams captain. So he's naturally excited about returning to Tampa as part of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Here's what he had to say:

Will Allen, safety, Pittsburgh Steelers

Q: Is this a big game for you?

A: I think so. It's a big week for our team. Both teams are 2-0. Tampa's playing pretty good. Everyone's underestimating what they have done, but they're playing well.

Q: Does that surprise you?

A: Not really because they went and got a lot of young talent. It was just a matter of everyone believing and them not making mental mistakes, and they haven't. They've been executing. Now it's a matter of who can execute the best and who can come up with the big plays.

Q: Did you expect Josh Freeman to play this well?

A: I think Josh is a great quarterback. He has a great arm and he's a tremendous athlete. I think he'll continue to play well throughout his career. It's just a matter of us getting pressure in his face and forcing him to throw like we have the last two weeks.

Q: Can you help the team in preparation with Tampa? Will the staff pick your brain?

A: I'm sure they will, but Tampa keeps things really simple for the quarterback so he can make quick decisions, because he's still young. Defensively, they run a Tampa-2 and a little bit of Cover-3 so there's not a lot they do that's real tricky. Their coaches do a great job getting them ready, but it's not like they do a lot to try to trick us.

A: Personnel-wise, I know those guys pretty well and during the game I can get a feel for what the coach is trying to do to us, special teams-wise, and I know what certain players are capable of and what they're not capable of. It may give us an edge; it may not.

Q: Has your loss hurt their special teams?

A: I would say so. But I know Rich Bisaccia real well and I know he's preparing those guys and he's always had one or two guys that were great for him and play hard, because they're going to play hard. That's the type of coach he is.

Q: Before last week's onside kick, you had to sprint to your left and then sprint forward. Was that a unique approach by the Titans?

A: Yeah. It was very difficult. I feel like I should've made the play. I should've at least grabbed the ball. I made it a little more difficult. I kind of let it hit me. I was hit at the same time, but it was hard. It was a great, well-executed play.

Q: Ever see anything like that?

A: Never. I've never seen nothing like that as long as I've been playing. They executed well.

Q: You'd play it the same way again wouldn't you?

A: I would, but I have a higher standard. I should've grabbed the ball. The game would've been over. That was my job.

Q: How do you enjoy playing on this defense?

A: I love it. I love playing for coach (Dick) LeBeau. I love playing with my teammates. Everybody has a great attitude. Everybody's playing hard, playing fast, playing together. Everybody means it. It's genuine here. That's what you need to win a championship. It's fun. It's a lot of fun.


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