Former Bears GM Jerry Angelo on Jared Allen: ‘He’s still got football left. It’s a good move’Continue reading.
Bears coach Marc Trestman on defensive end Jared Allen: ‘This man loves playing football’
ORLANDO, Fla. — In the eyes of Bears coach Marc Trestman, a team’s success can really boil down to protecting the passer and making his life miserable.
On Wednesday, the Bears added a really good pass rusher who torments quarterbacks in defensive end Jared Allen.
The Sun-Times caught up with Trestman at the conclusion of the NFL owners meetings in Orlando to talk about adding Allen:
On his initial thoughts on signing a player of Allen’s caliber:
“We talked about it in the postseason press conference [general manager] Phil [Emery] did about going through this process of rebuilding our football team, and in this case, the defensive side of the ball. It’s just another step in that direction. And we’ve been working very hard to try and do that. It’s all those things that go along with free agency and certainly Phil and [chief negotiator] Cliff [Stein] spearheaded it and have done a great job in that regard. We’re still moving along and got a ways to go.”
On Allen’s pass-rushing pedigree:
“Obviously, it’s one of durability, dependability. Certainly, those are big to consistently playing at a high level. He has all the trademarks. And of course, his love of the game. When you watch him play, you’re saying to yourself, ‘This man loves playing football,’ and he’s been doing it for a very long time at a high level. Phil, our personnel people and our coaches all feel that’s he’s got a lot left, and we believe we’re getting him at a great time.”
On adjusting to combat what Allen does as an offensive coach:
“When you face a defense from an offensive perspective, every defense has a difference-maker or has a guy who can disrupt the game. And certainly when you play against Jared, you have to make sure you have the proper protection plan. You’re focused during the week on making sure that you’re doing the best you can in preventing him from getting to the passer. That’s what difference-makers do. He was one of those types of players that we faced.”
On the excitement this type of move creates:
“It just goes back to our coaches who did a very, very good job of evaluating all the free agent players, turning that over to Phil and our personnel department, and then reevaluating. It’s just working. We’re trying to do this daily. Phil says it all the time – we’re trying to improve our team. That’s what we think about and work at every day. The timing of it is coincidental maybe [with the NFL owners meetings]. But the process continues and was continuing. We didn’t stop working daily. Particularly, Cliff and Phil didn’t stop working, while these meetings were going on. That’s really where it all starts. Phil spearheaded it, and Phil and Cliff worked together to get it done. Because of that, we’re a better football team today. That’s what we’re trying to do and we took another step in that direction, and it’s far from over.”
On what he knows about Allen:
“I don’t know him personally. I know people in the Vikings organization that have already contacted us, telling us what a good person and what a great teammate he’s been and what a great part of the Viking tradition over the last however many years he’s been with the team and [how he is] one of the most favorite players they’ve had there in the last 20 years. It’s exciting to hear that. He’ll be in a new place with new teammates. I think his teammates are excited they’ve got a new teammate and that it’s Jared Allen.”
On NFC North teams signing players from their rivals:
“I can’t speak for anybody but ourselves. As we said, when Corey [Wootton] left and Julius [Peppers] left, we wished them all. They’re extremely good people and football players. We feel fortunate to have the guys we have and excited to take another daily step as we really do it to try and get better as a football team.”
On improving the depth up front and having waves of pass rushers for 2013:
“It’s important to everybody to have as much depth as you can. All 53 guys matter. The stronger you are top to bottom puts you in a better position to have a better football team. We don’t have to get specific, but really from our point of view, we are working to get the best players we can into our locker room. Everybody is trying to do the same. And we got better today because of the addition of Jared Allen. That’s really what this day is about.”