Jared Allen is known for pressuring quarterbacks on the field, but off the field he embraces the pressure of the fans and the media put on the team.
When the Vikings made the trade to acquire Jared Allen
, they knew they were getting someone special on the field. What they may not have realized, they were also receiving a quote machine.
Allen has quickly become a media favorite. On draft weekend, fans got a taste of what to expect from No. 69. Donning a pair of jeans and a cowboy hat, Allen looked more in keeping with the face-painting types than the Armani suit-wearing millionaires that one would expect to see from players on draft weekend. Within the span of 15 minutes, Allen said that Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers
may wind up with a broken jaw in the regular-season opener and that he didn't care that his former Kansas City team took defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey
, quipping, "I hope he's a bust."
So, when asked Friday if he embraced the high expectations for the Vikings this year, his answer should have come as no surprise. In his typical style, embraces a Super Bowl challenge.
"I hope it's that high because we expect to go to the Super Bowl and we expect to win and we expect to win our division and do well in the playoffs," Allen said. "We expect to win. That cannot be put on the backburner anymore, not to say that it has. But I came here because I expect to win and that's the attitude this organization has. It's a winning attitude – do whatever it takes to win and that's all that matters. Let's win."
So let the bulletin boards begin to fill up. It doesn't sound like Allen is going to pull any punches – now or when the regular season starts.
On the subject of Allen's draft-day attire, The Sporting News ran a large photo of Allen signing autographs at the Draft Party in April. Among the stories in the latest addition, the Vikings were one of just two teams (along with the Jets) that were given an "A" grade for their offseason moves. The Lions were given a C-minus grade and the Bears and Packers were given a D – tying them for the lowest grades given out.
In that same issue of the magazine, Allen was named the top defensive end in the NFC. Dancing star Jason Taylor was listed as the AFC's top DE, which means they likely believe Allen is the best in the league.
Ray Edwards, who missed the Friday afternoon practice due to a doctor's appointment, has been catching some good-natured heat from his teammates and coaches for saying his 2008 goal is to break Michael Strahan's record of 22½ sacks in a single season. While appearing on "The Best Damn Sports Show Period," Strahan was made aware of the comment and a picture of Edwards flashed up on the screen. Strahan said he was appreciative because he wouldn't have recognized Edwards on his own without photo assistance.
Bryant McKinnie had nothing to say to reporters Friday, preferring not address any questions about his recent meeting with Commissioner Roger Goodell.
The Vikings had a special guest at Friday's practice – federal judge Patrick Schiltz. Judge Schlitz was the judge that swore in Vikings guard Anthony Herrera when he became a U.S. citizen, an event that was attended by head coach Brad Childress.
A pair of former Vikings are among the players brought in for tryouts this week with the Jaguars. Running back Ciatrick Fason spent two seasons with the Vikings and WR Ryan Hoag tried to make the Vikings after being Mr. Irrelevant – the last player selected on draft day.
With the announcement Friday that Oakland had signed RB Darren McFadden, three of the top four draft picks have signed.