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Updated: October 13th, 2011 12:46pm
Jared Allen on sacking record: 'If they give me 30, I'll take it'

Jared Allen on sacking record: 'If they give me 30, I'll take it'

by Tom Pelissero
1500ESPN.com
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Jared Allen is on pace to shatter the NFL's single-season sacks record.

But the Minnesota Vikings' star end says Michael Strahan's decade-old standard isn't on his mind.

"Not at all. Honestly," Allen said on Thursday. "That's probably the furthest thing from my mind. As a player, you're always -- that's something you want to attain. But really, your goal is trying to get wins. We got one. Now we need to put another one together.

"I just try to go out there, honestly, and just have fun that week and take it for what it is and go out and try to help my team win. At the end of the year, it'll kind of work itself out one way or the other. I've got a long way to go."

Through five games, Allen has 8½ sacks. That puts him on pace for 27 -- 4½ more than Strahan had for the New York Giants in 2001, when he broke Mark Gastineau's 17-year-old mark of 22.

Eight entire defenses have fewer sacks than Allen this season. The only other two NFL players with more than five sacks are Philadelphia's Jason Babin (seven) and the New York Giants' Jason-Pierre Paul (6½).

Allen, 29, said he didn't set a goal for his sack total before the season "because I think you limit yourself if you put a number on something. I'm going to take as many as they'll give me. If they give me 30, I'll take it. That's always been my motto. I don't ever try to set a number."

That Allen is off to such a fast start isn't entirely surprising. He entered the season with 83 career sacks, including 55½ over the previous four seasons, and his 15½ with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2007 is one of the top 50 totals became an official statistic in 1982.

But the way Allen has opened the season is a stark change from 2010, when he admittedly got wrapped up in the Vikings' struggles as a team and recorded only one sack through the first seven games.

"I just try to make sure I can handle what I can handle," Allen said, "and that's being in the best shape I can be in, making sure my mental preparation is where it's at and that, come Sunday, I can put my best foot forward and just -- really, (the difference) this year from last year is really just have the best attitude I can possibly have.

"Having a positive attitude on game day is huge, at least for my success it is. If you buy into the negativity that can go around and you start thinking, 'Oh, we're losing,' or, 'Here we go, we blew another halftime lead' -- that's just going to lessen your play. That's not what, obviously, this organization needs with guys out there trying to win every snap."

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for 1500ESPN.com. He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Tom | @TomPelissero | Tom Pelissero
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