Fresh off of the team picking up his fifth-year option, Redskins defensive tackle Jonathan Allen joined The Kevin Sheehan Show and opened up about everything from what went wrong the last few years to his impressions of his new coaching staff.
Allen was the No. 17 overall selection out of the University of Alabama in 2017 and was the first of four consecutive first-round defensive linemen selected by Washington. The most recent was Ohio State defensive end Chase Young.
Young wasted no time getting to know his new teammates and the two DMV-area natives got together on draft weekend.
Jonathan Allen on Chase Young coming over to his house:
- “I texted with (Chase Young) after the draft, just congratulations, excited to be working with you. And then the next day he texted me if he could come over and just kick it. And I was like, man, of course… I was really impressed with him.”
Encouraging to see Young seek out the leaders on his team and make it a priority to begin that relationship-building process. It’s also impressive to see how the Redskins have been able to collect defensive line talent, especially with two of the highest-rated prospects to come out of the DC region in recent memory. Opposing offenses will have a difficult task is deciding whom to double-team on this defensive front.
Allen on his new head coach, Ron Rivera:
- “He seems very business-like, what you see is what you get and I’m excited about that and it reminds me of Alabama. “
- “… when I hear him talk, I hear the military aspect coming out and I love that. That’s something that that I always thought coach Saban had and I just always gravitated towards those types of coaching styles.”
Allen also spoke about how talent hasn’t been the issue the last few years and that the team lacked discipline in critical moments. Rivera seems like just what the doctor ordered if discipline is what they’re looking for. Jay Gruden was considered a player’s coach. Ironically, it seems like a lot of players would rather have someone who demands respect instead.
On why Ryan Anderson will be the Redskins breakout player:
- “He’s been working hard, he’s been working really hard and I really think with this scheme that’s going to help highlight his attributes and his skillset. I really think Ryan Anderson is going to have a standout year for us.”
Expectations were high for Anderson when he was selected in the second round of the 2017 draft but he hasn’t produced as expected. As an edge rusher, he only managed two sacks and 19 tackles his first two seasons.
Anderson showed some promise in his third season, posting career-highs with four sacks and 30 combined tackles. Having played together for the Crimson Tide, Allen knows Anderson well and has good reason to believe his teammate will breakthrough in 2020.
Allen provides a Reuben Foster update:
- “He would be a dominant, physical, aggressive mike-backer that can come down and fill a gap but can also cover the tight end. Cover backs on wheel routes. He’s a complete linebacker when he’s healthy and I’m expecting to see that Reuben when he gets back.”
Another current ‘Skins linebacker that Allen played with in Tuscaloosa, Foster has all the traits of an All-Pro linebacker. His issue has been staying on the field and if Foster can stay healthy, it could shift the trajectory of Washington’s defense in 2020. Considering recent history, that’s a big if.
Allen’s reaction to Alex Smith injury
- “I just remember Alex Smith was always in an upbeat mood and just super talkative. It was like he wasn’t hurt. I really thought that was impressive because when I tore my lisfranc and I couldn’t walk upstairs, I couldn’t drive, I couldn’t do anything. I was impressed by (his attitude).”
We won’t post it below but images of Alex Smith’s mangled leg have been posted to social media in recent weeks. The former No. 1 overall pick suffered a gruesome injury in 2018 that not only likely ended his career but also put his quality of life in danger.
t’s been revealed more recently that Smith’s life was in danger as a result of a bacterial infection so to think that Smith’s attitude was so uplifting around his teammates speaks to how strong of a person he is. Allen doesn’t dish out praise lightly, hearing the way he speaks about Smith is encouraging.