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We may see a lot more of Nate Allen than expected in Philly this year


AGB

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... because the starting safety ahead of him <a href="http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=5239640">is out for the year</a> after rupturing his Achilles tendon.

Here is what ESPN's NFC East blogger <a href="http://espn.go.com/blog/nfceast/post/_/id/14470/eagles-adjust-after-marlin-jackson-injury">had to say about it</a>:

<blockquote><i>Practice quickly resumed after Jackson left the field and it was next man up -- rookie Nate Allen, the Eagles’ second-round draft pick. Not an ideal situation.

After practice, the Eagles announced that Jackson had suffered an ankle injury -- not another knee blowout -- which was of some relief. But the way Jackson reacted, it was clear the injury was serious, meaning the Eagles’ first great experiment to fix a defense that underachieved in 2009 has suffered a serious setback. (Note: Jackson ruptured his Achilles tendon and is out for the season.)

Defensive coordinator Sean McDermott was asked what this means for the free safety position. He just shook his head, obviously upset about the injury to Jackson, who was signed to a one-year free-agent deal and attacked his new position with consistent vigor and a constant smile.

"We’ll just have to see what happens with Marlin," said McDermott, not sounding too optimistic.

Without Jackson, the Eagles may be forced to submit a rookie to the rigors of the free safety spot for the second straight year. After perennial Pro Bowler Brian Dawkins was allowed to leave for Denver last spring, the Eagles tried converting rookie corner Macho Harris into a free safety. That didn’t work. Veterans Quintin Demps and Sean Jones were given a shot. Nothing worked.

At least Allen played safety at South Florida. But McDermott’s defense is very aggressive -- the Eagles blitzed on 41 percent of the called pass plays last year, sixth most in the league -- and often leaves the secondary vulnerable to big plays. Breaking down protection only works if you protect the house on the back end, and the Eagles gave up 15 touchdown passes off the blitz last year, second most in the league.

After practice, Allen was surrounded by reporters trying to measure his reaction to Jackson’s injury.

"All I know right now is I’ve got a lot of work to do," said Allen. "I’ve got a lot to learn. I’ve got to learn the whole system. So much of it is blurry. I need to get it down so I can play fast. That’s the point. That’s what you want to do."

The learning curve for Allen just got a lot steeper.</i></blockquote>

It's a lot to ask for any rookie to step in and take over a starting role, so I'm not expecting Allen to set the world on fire or anything, but if he does get a chance to start I think he'll surprise Eagles fans and by year two be an asset to that team. He's a great athlete and a really smart football player. Any serious injury always sucks, but as I have no attachment to Marlin Jackson or the Eagles, I'm excited to see Allen get this opportunity.

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Guest nybullsfan

Good luck Nate, make the most of the opportunity!

Can't wait to watch the Eagles and the Cowboys and the Giants playing each other this year...

Go Bulls!!

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If he keeps that attitude he will be fine.  Hope him the best.  Coach Reed had respect for JR Reid and saw his abilities and work ethic.  Hope that rubs off to Allen a little. 

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He's a smart guy and has the ability. I think Eagles fans will be pleasnatly surprised.

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Guest nybullsfan

He's a smart guy and has the ability. I think Eagles fans will be pleasnatly surprised.

I don't think it's legal in PA to use the words "Eagles fans" and "pleasant" in the same paragraph, LOL.

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Not the way you want to come into playing time but hopefully Nate takes full advantage. 

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Nate will be solid at the very least

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