Jared Allen remains focused on getting NFL single-season sack record
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. - Jared Allen finished with 22 sacks last season, leaving him a half-a-sack shy of tying Michael Strahan's single-season record set in 2001 with the New York Giants.
So does the Minnesota Vikings Pro Bowl defensive end remain focused on getting the record?
"Absolutely," Allen said Tuesday as the Vikings opened their three-day mandatory minicamp at Winter Park. "I think before you get that close, you're not really sure if it's attainable. You always think it is, because you always think if someone did it, I can do it. ...
"So you go back and watch film and try to correct technique and just use it as motivation to get to work. It's always a personal goal, and if I'm fortunate enough and blessed enough to break it one day, I'm going to try to break it again."
Allen had a season-high 3.5 sacks in the Vikings' regular-season finale against the Chicago Bears but was unable to get the final one he needed to move past Strahan. Allen also mentioned the fact that a sack he thought he had against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field instead was awarded as a team sack.
"I think 25 (sacks in a season) is possible," Allen said. "Someone will eventually get it. Just look at some of the athletes that are coming. Look at the DeMarcus Ware's of the league and the matchups he creates as a 3-4 guy on a running back. So I think it's possible. But then again, no one has ever had two 20-sack seasons in their career in the history of the NFL, so someone has to do that first."
Allen, who turned 30 in April, kept his usual routine of not showing up at the Vikings' optional workouts, despite the fact coach Leslie Frazier put a priority on getting players to attend and had several veterans show up for at least a portion of the practices.
Allen has spent the spring working out near his home in Arizona.
"I have a great team in Arizona," he said. "It's kind of one of those things that if it's not broke, don't fix it. Coach was great. He understood why and he understood that what they do is my mindset. Last year was so great, even though we weren't winning, things were just real positive, especially coming off of that 2010 season when it was just a ball of negativity around here.
"That's what I told coach. I said, 'I've got my trainers and everything is focused in the right direction down here and that's where I'm trying to stay.' I know there are a lot of young guys and they want veteran leadership. But we have plenty of time for that during training (camp). The best way I can lead is being the best player I can out on the field and I feel like, for me, that's having a full offseason with my trainers."
Allen voiced his support last season for both defensive coordinator Fred Pagac and defensive line coach Karl Dunbar. However, Pagac was demoted back to linebackers coach and Dunbar was not retained. He is now with the New York Jets.
Alan Williams, who had been the defensive backs coach with the Indianapolis Colts, is now the Vikings' defensive coordinator and Brendan Daly was brought back from the St. Louis Rams to serve as the position coach for the line.
Allen said he was pleased the Vikings re-hired Daly, who had been Dunbar's assistant on the defensive line before leaving for St. Louis.
"He's very energetic," Allen said. " ... He knows Kevin (Williams) and I. Dunbar did a great job of managing us, and I think Brendan knows that, too. I think he knows we can trust him to work us when we need to be worked and rest us when we need to be rested.
"Again, the philosophies are still the same, so it's not someone coming in here trying to teach me to be a spinner. It's not what I'm going to do."