Allen makes most of 2nd stint with Steelers
Will Allen figured his career had taken a positive turn when he landed in Dallas via free agency after three seasons with the Steelers.
Things got off to a good start with the Cowboys as the 10th-year safety intercepted a pass in the season opener against the New York Giants. Shortly thereafter, things unraveled. Allen became expendable.
“I wanted to go to Dallas and have a great year, but it didn't happen,” Allen said. “So I came back (to Pittsburgh) to give it everything I could.
“Sometimes you take for granted the opportunities you have.”
The Steelers, who were 0-4, extended Allen an offer to return one day after the Cowboys released him in early October. The Ohio State product seized advantage of the opportunity to prove he still belongs.
Allen has been productive in the nickel and dime packages with 25 tackles, an interception, a fumble recovery and one forced fumble. He also has added stability on special teams.
“I've always had a good opinion of his football ability, and I think he's delivered for us,” defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau said.
Allen, who has played all nine games since signing with the Steelers on Oct. 10, enters Sunday night's game against AFC North rival Cincinnati seemingly with job security for next season.
“I'm not sure what's going to happen because it's out of our control,” he said. “I thought I would be back last year. I figured there's no way I wouldn't be back.
“The organization has to make decisions, sometimes tough decisions. All I can do is take advantage of my opportunities, and I think I've done that.
“We'll see when March comes what the powers-that-be decide.”
Allen weighed his options before choosing the Cowboys when free agency opened last offseason.
Allen, who excels on special teams, was lured to Dallas with a one-year, $800,000 offer and the assurance of more playing time.
“You've got to get that money because that window of opportunity is open right now,” cornerback Ike Taylor said. “If you don't want it, somebody else is going to want it. He did what he had to do.”
Allen insists it wasn't simply about the money.
“I wanted to play more because I proved myself the previous year,” he said. “I wanted to keep proving myself. I knew I could do it at a high level. It didn't work out, so I came back here.”
Allen, like cornerback William Gay, has made the most of his second tour with the Steelers.
“Will has a great understanding of this defense,” Gay said. “He's taken the load off (Ryan) Clark, Troy (Polamalu) and Ike because he's a veteran guy who leads by example.”
Allen hopes his knowledge of Cincinnati offensive coordinator Jay Gruden's schemes will give him edge Sunday. The two were in Tampa Bay during part of Allen's six-year stint with the Buccaneers.
“The Gruden philosophy is about finding matchups in the West Coast offense,” Allen said. “He wants to create certain plays, especially in the passing game.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Increasing pressure on QBs will be offseason focus for Steelers
- LeBeau won’t join Cardinals coaching staff
- Steelers mum on national report involving head of security
- Steelers’ Rooney says both teams should use same footballs
- Seven questions facing Steelers in quest for seventh Super Bowl title
- Steelers’ Rooney ‘not expecting a problem’ with new Big Ben deal
- Steelers sign punter Wing to 1-year extension