Notebook: Allen explains sack numbers

The Vikings spent just over $31 million guaranteed to secure Jared Allen in a trade this offseason, which has put him under the microscope with fans and media. After five games, he explained some of the factors in why he has only two sacks and his outlook for the rest of the season. Brad Childress also revealed this week how he became interested in Gus Frerotte.

Jared Allen admits to a little frustration in having two sacks through five game, but he also took time to explain some of the reasons that the NFL's sack leader from 2007 isn't among the leaders this year.

Allen brought up several points this week standing in front of his locker as to why the Vikings aren't getting to the quarterback – or least producing sacks – as often as he'd like. Some of it, he says, could have to do with the Vikings' success stopping the run and teams wanting to use their quick passing game in place of that.

"A lot of teams … they can't run the ball. When I was in Kansas City, they had a lot of success running the ball against us, so they'd be a little more balanced. They'd run the ball, they might sit back and seven-step drop, five-step drop. When people can't run the ball, they use their short passing game as an extension of the run," Allen said. "Yeah, (Saints quarterback Drew Brees) threw the ball 46 times, but let's take a look back and see how many of those were max pro (protection), how many of those were three-step, how many were him checking it down and we got there. I had two hits on him when he threw it, and I know one me and Pat hit him and he just dumped it. And then the screen games come into place. It's not making excuses because we were 4-12 last year (in Kansas City) and I had 15½. We've got a lot of season left. We've got 11 games left."

Allen hopes to improve those numbers and get back among the league leaders, and that could start this week against the Detroit Lions. Last year against the Lions, Allen had two sacks against Jon Kitna, who has been battling back spasms this week and may not play.

"We've got a good part of our season coming up. A lot of these teams we're getting ready to play, I had good success against last year," he said. "I watch film. My rushes are there and I've got a ton of pressure. I've just got to get them on the ground. I've got two right now and that's better than having zero, right?

"They'll come. I'm a perfectionist. I watch more film on myself. I'm constantly, constantly on myself and what I can do to get better, get faster and what I need to do technique-wise. I watch schemes and we're getting blocked a lot differently than most. We get a lot of max pro, we get a lot of quick steps, a lot of chips, a lot of slide protection."

While Allen is tied for the team lead with Kevin Williams and Antoine Winfield with two sacks, he leads the team with 14 quarterback hurries. Williams is the only other Viking in double digits with 13.

Allen correctly points out that a lot of the league leaders in sacks this year are actually linebackers. Falcons defensive end John Abraham leads the NFL with seven sacks, but the next three are linebackers – Pittsburgh's James Harrison with 6½ and Miami's Joey Porter and Pittsburgh's LaMarr Woodley with 5½. Another linebacker, Dallas' DeMarcus Ware, and Tennessee defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth have five each. Only four of the top 12 sack leaders at this point in the season are defensive ends.

"You've got two in five games. Obviously I'd like to be higher, but look at the sack list right now. The majority of the leaders are linebackers," Allen said, making it easy to see that he pays attention to the numbers. "You've got Abraham with seven and you've got a couple of D-ends with four. They'll come. I'm not too worried about it. You have one big game and you're right back in it and everybody talks about how good you are again."

He said he's getting the pressure – there are numerous times he's around the quarterback when he lets the ball go – just not the sacks.

"You get frustrated. I've got two sacks on the year and every time I'm looking on the board, it's like four or five pressures and a couple hits, so I'm getting to him, I'm hitting him. He just doesn't have the ball," he said.

But, coming from a Kansas City team that was 4-12 last year, Allen says the most important thing is winning.

"I could be zero across the board as long as we won all of our games. I could care less, as long as we're winning games and we're moving forward as a team," he said.


How did Brad Childress "discover" Gus Frerotte might still be a good quarterback? Basically, it was an accident, Childress admitted to reporters on a conference call this week.

"I was actually evaluating somebody else on tape and it happened in a game where Marc Bulger was out and I was evaluating – I can't remember who – somebody on the defensive side during free agency and noticed the guy throwing the football. I checked my roster and it wasn't Bulger, it was Frerotte," Childress said. "So, I started paying a little bit of attention to him and watched him slinging it. I think he ended up getting released somewhere along the line and I had to create a dialogue, talk to him a little bit, get know to him a little bit. He had to get to know me.

"I don't know that he was wild about what he thought he knew about me, but he got a chance to get up here and we got a chance to spend some time and share some different views. My thing to him was for him to be able to leave on his own terms and create an exit strategy. He knew he was going to come up here in a mentoring role, but we all understand with 64 quarterbacks playing last year that that role can go fast to being a starter. Does he still have the competitive zeal and competitive desire and can he still win for you? He was able to answer some of those questions and physical-ability wise I could see that on tape."

Childress also told reporters in Detroit that it is written in his contract that he has control over the 53-man roster, something he saw with Andy Reid in Philadelphia.

"You'll talk to a lot of coaches about a lot of contracts and negotiations. When you're selling yourself and you're selling your vision, you let the owner know that that's an important factor that the head coach has got to be responsible for the 53 guys that are playing for him. It's got to be on merit, so that's the reason it was put in (the contract)," Childress said.


  • LB Erin Henderson (concussion) did not participate in Thursday's practice. WR Bernard Berrian (knee) looked like he wasn't going to participate either during the portion open to media, but he was listed as limited, as were LB Vinny Ciurciu (concussion), DE Ray Edwards (shoulder), TE Jim Kleinsasser (foot), WR Sidney Rice (knee), CB Benny Sapp (hamstring), C John Sullivan (knee) and S Madieu Williams (neck).

  • For the Lions, DT Shaun Cody (concussion), CB Travis Fisher (knee), QB Jon Kitna (back) and G Edwin Mulitalo (concussion) didn't practice. TE Casey Fitzsimmons (elbow), QB Dan Orlovsky (ankle), G Stephen Peterman (hand) and WR Roy Williams (hip) were limited.

  • The Vikings might be respecting the Lions' ability to compete Sunday in the Metrodome, but apparently the Minnesota media isn't all that interested in the winless Lions. With all three coordinator press conferences on Thursday, not one question was asked about the Lions.

  • The Vikings are now ranked 18th in offense (12th running the ball and 20th passing) and ninth in defense (third against the rush and 24th against the pass). The Lions are ranked 28th on offense (31st running and 19th passing) and last in defense (30th against the rush and 29th against the pass).

  • Detroit is also last in takeaway/giveaway ratio at minus-6. The Vikings are tied for seventh at plus-2.

  • The Lions are also ranked last in net-yards-per-game differential.

  • The Vikings are still last in red zone offense, scoring three touchdowns in 12 trips inside the 20-yard line.

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