Notebook: Crack-back has Allen cracking up

Redskins coach Mike Shanahan tried to get Jared Allen with a crack-back block during their days as rivals in the AFC West. But Allen got the last laugh when the Broncos targeted the wrong man. Allen and Shanahan laughed about that play this week, but they'll get another chance Saturday. Plus, Shanahan's review of Christian Ponder and Adrian Peterson is ready for more.

A crack-back block that was executed on the wrong guy had Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen and a former division-rival coach both cracking up this week.

Allen became all too familiar with the Denver Broncos' style of blocking when he was playing for the Kansas City Chiefs while Mike Shanahan was the head coach at the AFC West Division rival Broncos. These days, Allen is the Pro Bowl defensive end with the Minnesota Vikings and Shanahan is the head coach of the Washington Redskins. Their current teams will meet again Saturday in Washington, but the player and coach were both smiling this week when reminiscing about their days facing each other twice a year.

One play in particular had them joking with each other earlier this year during a golf tournament in Las Vegas.

"We were playing Kansas City and, for some reason, (Allen) goes out of the game and we had called a play for the tight end to come in and block him," Shanahan recalled this week. "And so we just kill the guy who's substituting for him and I look across the field and he's pointing his finger at me and he's laughing as hard as he can. I couldn't help it and I had to start laughing myself.

"I saw him in Vegas (this) offseason and he looked at me and said, ‘Oh, that was the funniest thing I've ever seen. You just killed my substitute. That could have been me.' He's a fun guy and he enjoys playing and I was so happy when he left Kansas City when I was there (in Denver) to go to Minnesota. But, unfortunately, we've got to face him this weekend."

Allen, who has a career-high 17½ sacks, is pushing for the Vikings' single-season sacks record (21) and the NFL's all-time single-season record (22½). While times have changed for both player and coach, Allen remembers the play that Shanahan revealed this week. In fact, Allen said the player that took the beating intended for him was former Vikings defensive end Khreem Smith, who played in one game with the Vikings in 2006 and two games with the Chiefs in 2007.

"I remember that. It was pretty funny, actually," Allen said. "It was Khreem Smith. He came from here and we had him in Kansas City. We threw him in for a play and they ran a crack-back and they murdered him. I know it was meant for me, but, hey, it happens sometimes," Allen said.

Allen and Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams both said the style of offensive line play has changed from Shanahan's days in Denver. Back then, the Broncos' offensive linemen were lighter and known for chop blocks that irritated opposing defensive linemen.

"In Denver, everybody was light, sub 300 pounds, fast-moving. This (Redskins line) is kind of a hybrid of that. You've got bigger guys," Allen said. "They still run zone-action stuff, but they still mix powers and counters to try to keep you honest. It's a variation, but I haven't seen nothing like Denver since back in the day."

Allen will go against Redskins rookie left tackle Willie Smith on Saturday. The East Carolina product has played in only two games and started one, allowing one sack apiece to New England's Andre Carter and the New York Giants' Jason Pierre-Paul.

"I got my work cut out for me," Smith told Washington reporters about blocking Allen. "(He's) a great pass rusher, somebody that can really get after the tackles. I just got be right on my fundamentals, watch a lot of film and have great practices to get ready. I go off how I practice during the week."

If Shanahan is up to his old tricks of attacking Allen, there will be a variety of players assigned to helping out Smith throughout the day. Shanahan told Allen he would get him "sooner or later."

"I'm sure they'll have some surprise for me. I'll be ready, though," Allen said.

REDSKINS REVIEW ON PONDER

Washington had an interest in Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder, who was selected with the No. 12 overall pick in April. The Redskins – who traded out of the No. 10 pick (where the Jaguars took Blaine Gabbert) and ended up taking defensive end Ryan Kerrigan four picks after the Vikings took Ponder – had the Florida State quarterback in for a predraft visit.

Shanahan got to know Ponder and had good reviews of him this week.

"Just a class guy that played extremely well at Florida State. Good speed and getting used to the system, and like most quarterbacks adjusting to life in the NFL," Shanahan said of Ponder.

"I liked his release. I liked the way he handled himself, the way he played the game. I thought he had a good release. I thought he had adequate arm strength where I thought he could make the throws. Good sense of timing."

PETERSON ‘READY TO ROLL'

Vikings running back Adrian Peterson had to take a lesser role last week coming back from a high ankle sprain that caused him to miss the previous three games, but he said he's much closer to 100 percent this week. He had only 10 carries on Sunday as the Vikings fell behind and needed to try to play catch-up with the passing game.

"I'm always feeling antsy. I'm always feeling like 200-plus. I might end up with 30, but I'm always feeling antsy, ready to roll," Peterson said.


Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.



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\r\n\r\n\r\n","mobileBody":"A crack-back block that was executed on the wrong guy had Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen and a former division-rival coach both cracking up this week. Allen became all too familiar with the Denver Broncos' style of blocking when he was playing for the Kansas City Chiefs while Mike Shanahan was the head coach at the AFC West Division rival Broncos. These days, Allen is the Pro Bowl defensive end with the Minnesota Vikings and Shanahan is the head coach of the Washington Redskins. Their current teams will meet again Saturday in Washington, but the player and coach were both smiling this week when reminiscing about their days facing each other twice a year. One play in particular had them joking with each other earlier this year during a golf tournament in Las Vegas. \"We were playing Kansas City and, for some reason, (Allen) goes out of the game and we had called a play for the tight end to come in and block him,\" Shanahan recalled this week. \"And so we just kill the guy who's substituting for him and I look across the field and he's pointing his finger at me and he's laughing as hard as he can. I couldn't help it and I had to start laughing myself. \"I saw him in Vegas (this) offseason and he looked at me and said, ‘Oh, that was the funniest thing I've ever seen. You just killed my substitute. That could have been me.' He's a fun guy and he enjoys playing and I was so happy when he left Kansas City when I was there (in Denver) to go to Minnesota. But, unfortunately, we've got to face him this weekend.\" Allen, who has a career-high 17½ sacks, is pushing for the Vikings' single-season sacks record (21) and the NFL's all-time single-season record (22½). While times have changed for both player and coach, Allen remembers the play that Shanahan revealed this week. In fact, Allen said the player that took the beating intended for him was former Vikings defensive end Khreem Smith, who played in one game with the Vikings in 2006 and two games with the Chiefs in 2007. \"I remember that. It was pretty funny, actually,\" Allen said. \"It was Khreem Smith. He came from here and we had him in Kansas City. We threw him in for a play and they ran a crack-back and they murdered him. I know it was meant for me, but, hey, it happens sometimes,\" Allen said. Allen and Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams both said the style of offensive line play has changed from Shanahan's days in Denver. Back then, the Broncos' offensive linemen were lighter and known for chop blocks that irritated opposing defensive linemen. \"In Denver, everybody was light, sub 300 pounds, fast-moving. This (Redskins line) is kind of a hybrid of that. You've got bigger guys,\" Allen said. \"They still run zone-action stuff, but they still mix powers and counters to try to keep you honest. It's a variation, but I haven't seen nothing like Denver since back in the day.\" Allen will go against Redskins rookie left tackle Willie Smith on Saturday. The East Carolina product has played in only two games and started one, allowing one sack apiece to New England's Andre Carter and the New York Giants' Jason Pierre-Paul. \"I got my work cut out for me,\" Smith told Washington reporters about blocking Allen. \"(He's) a great pass rusher, somebody that can really get after the tackles. I just got be right on my fundamentals, watch a lot of film and have great practices to get ready. I go off how I practice during the week.\" If Shanahan is up to his old tricks of attacking Allen, there will be a variety of players assigned to helping out Smith throughout the day. Shanahan told Allen he would get him \"sooner or later.\" \"I'm sure they'll have some surprise for me. I'll be ready, though,\" Allen said. Washington had an interest in Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder, who was selected with the No. 12 overall pick in April. The Redskins – who traded out of the No. 10 pick (where the Jaguars took Blaine Gabbert) and ended up taking defensive end Ryan Kerrigan four picks after the Vikings took Ponder – had the Florida State quarterback in for a predraft visit. Shanahan got to know Ponder and had good reviews of him this week. \"Just a class guy that played extremely well at Florida State. Good speed and getting used to the system, and like most quarterbacks adjusting to life in the NFL,\" Shanahan said of Ponder. \"I liked his release. I liked the way he handled himself, the way he played the game. I thought he had a good release. I thought he had adequate arm strength where I thought he could make the throws. Good sense of timing.\" Vikings running back Adrian Peterson had to take a lesser role last week coming back from a high ankle sprain that caused him to miss the previous three games, but he said he's much closer to 100 percent this week. He had only 10 carries on Sunday as the Vikings fell behind and needed to try to play catch-up with the passing game. \"I'm always feeling antsy. I'm always feeling like 200-plus. I might end up with 30, but I'm always feeling antsy, ready to roll,\" Peterson said. 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