Jared Allen left smiling after Browns trade Trent Richardson
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen was really the only player to show excitement about their next opponent, the Cleveland Browns, dealing away their biggest offensive playmaker this week.
The Browns dealt running back Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts on Wednesday for a first-round pick in 2014 after already announcing that third-string quarterback Brian Hoyer would take the helm for his second career start.
"Shocked. I was shocked," Allen said. "I'm not going to say I didn't smile about it. I'm shocked, honestly, this league is crazy. I think we all learned once Peyton [Manning] left the Colts, no one is safe anywhere."
Instead of salivating like Allen, defensive coordinator Alan Williams said the team has to remain focused on the scheme, not who is deploying it.
"I know our guys are mature enough and professional enough to not fall into the trap," Williams said. "The coaches are good about doing the research, seeing what guys can do. It's a [Rob] Chudzinksi, Norv Turner-type of scheme. They do have some characteristics they've shown in the past."
The Vikings (0-2) can't afford to overlook any opponent, even a Browns team that may start running back/return man Bobby Rainey in the backfield. The Browns reportedly have signed veteran running back Willis McGahee after a successful physical on Thursday.
However, there's not much preparation to be done against little-known personnel.
"I've been trying to watch preseason tape of [Hoyer] and now I'm trying to throw darts and see who the running back is going to be," Allen said. "If it's [Willis] McGahee, at least we can go watch film on him."
Allen said he's tried to keep his teammates grounded and reminds them of the Arizona Cardinals running back who broke the 100-yard mark against them during the Vikings' Week 7 win last year.
LaRod Stephens-Howling, who's made most of his money as a return man, replaced injured starting running back Beanie Wells and ran for a career-high 104 yards on 20 carries in the 21-14 loss at the Metrodome.
"This is a humbling league, if you don't take every opponent serious," Allen said. "I was reminding guys, we didn't even know who the Arizona running back was and I think he ran for a buck fifty on us. That's how this league stays successful is because guys have an opportunity to shine."
"We just have to make sure no one shines on us."