Lions provide numerous subplots for Allen

Jared Allen doesn't shy away from controversy, and the Lions have provided several entertaining and motivational moments for the Vikings' outspoken defensive end. See what Allen had to say about those events over the past three games in the Minnesota-Detroit series.

As if Jared Allen didn't have enough motivation by playing on the best team of his NFL career, the Detroit Lions offer several reasons for the NFL sack leader to be inspired as his 7-1 Vikings face the 1-7 Lions.

First, Allen took a couple of shots at the city of Detroit and playing at Ford Field the day after the Vikings' 27-13 win there earlier this season. Appearing on's "AfterParty" following the Vikings win, Jay Glazer asked Allen for his least three desirable places to play. Detroit was among them.

"Because it's usually gloomy and there's no one usually at the game," Allen replied.

Asked about that comment by the Detroit media on Wednesday, Allen expanded on his answer.

"This was the first year I've ever been to Detroit when it was sunny. Every year I've been there it's always been gloomy and overcast and you get to the stadium and there weren't a whole lot of people in the stadium," Allen said. "We got them early so I think you guys had a sellout there. Yeah, Detroit was always one of those ones … well I've never been outside the hotel in Detroit, we'll put it that way."

When the Vikings and Lions met the first time this year, Detroit hadn't won a game since 2007, but the Vikings fell behind 10-0 late in the second quarter.

"The refs actually called us in and they gave us all Ambien. They said we need to level the playing field," Allen said while joking around with Glazer the day after the Vikings pulled out the win in Detroit.

Allen said Wednesday that he sometimes draws inspiration from the booing of opposing crowds.

"When it's empty it's almost like a practice feeling and you've really got to turn internally and with your teammates and try to create some energy," he said. "It can be tough. It was tough playing in St. Louis this year. There was no life in there, so the empty stadiums can be tough to play in."

Another controversial aspect of Allen facing the Lions is a shot that the defensive end took to his knee in a 2008 matchup in Detroit. Allen was pursuing a play from the back side across the line of scrimmage and tackle Gosder Cherilus dove into Allen's knee.

Allen suffered a sprained ligament on the play and classified it as a grade-three sprain. While he didn't miss any playing time, he said he won't forget the play.

"It is what it is. It's always in my mind. We're not going to be friends, but as long as we can keep racking up W's I'll be the victor there," Allen said.

Another memorable moment in Allen's series with the Lions is former Detroit quarterback Dan Orlovsky running out of the back of the end zone with Allen in pursuit. The quarterback appeared to lose track of the out-of-bounds line and took several steps well behind the end zone while scrambling and keeping his focus down field.

Replays show Allen trailing the play and pointing out to the officials that Orlovsky was out of bounds.

"Oh yeah, I was laughing because I was pointing to the ref and the ref hadn't blown the whistle yet, and then he did, so I knew it right away. I was the last one on the sideline and I said, ‘Guys, that's the easiest sack I've ever had,'" Allen recounted.

"I knew that the play was going to happen because we had a blitz called and I knew how they were going to try to block me with that wing set, but I had no idea he was just going to run out of the back of the end zone. That makes it easier."

While Allen's battle with Cherilus is an adversarial one, he does have fond feelings for a couple of Lions coaches. One of them is Gunther Cunningham, who coached Allen in Kansas City and is now the defensive coordinator in Detroit.

"I love Gun; Gun's a dear friend as well. Me and Gun have got more stories than I can even probably talk about," Allen said. "He's a fun guy to play for. He's polar opposite of Coach (Leslie) Frazier over here, which is fine. I love Coach Frazier and we have a great relationship and he also creates a great work environment. Gun's more of an in-your-face, tough-guy mentality and it's fun. Coach Frazier is softer spoken. I couldn't have had two more opposite coaches, but I've got the same relationship with both so it works out well."

Allen also has a lot of respect for Lions defensive coach Bob Karmelowicz. He was the defensive line coach when Allen was breaking into the league in Kansas City and on his way to becoming the leader in sacks in 2007. In fact, Allen hired Karmelowicz as his personal coach last year.

"Coach Karm is a hell of a coach, I'll tell you what. He's a dear friend of mine," Allen said. "When I got in the league, he picked up right where my college coach left off. I was blessed with a good college coach who taught me technique, but Karm taught me how to use my body and how to function in the NFL with reading on the run, and he taught me how to break down individuals even more than I already knew how to. He built off the fundamentals that I already had and always kept my head focused in the right direction."

"… Sometimes it's nice to have an outside view with somebody that you really trust to help you fix a couple things, and last year he helped me change from a four-point stance and I went to a three-point stance, and it really helped me."

Now it will be up to Allen to overcome the insights Karmelowicz has on him for the Lions offensive linemen when they come to the Metrodome on Sunday.

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