2022 OTAs: Allen “in a good spot right now…”

2022 OTAs: Allen "in a good spot right now..."

JACKSONVILLE – The sun is shining and Josh Allen is all smiles.

This was Monday, Day 1 of the 2022 Jaguars organized team activities, and Allen, the Jaguars’ fourth-year defensive end/linebacker, had reason to smile. He’s back in Jacksonville and focused on the upcoming season.

And for Allen, that’s a very good thing.

“I feel like I’m in a good place right now,” he said, adding, “I’m interested in growth this year. I’m interested in everyone getting better.”

Allen to that end spent the early part of the 2022 offseason in Phoenix, Arizona, working with former Arizona Cardinals defensive end Bertrand Berry and at Exos Athletic Training, on movement, technique and recovery. He returned to Jacksonville last week and is participating in OTA, with Jaguars coach Doug Pederson calling him “professional from start to finish” on Monday.

“He was out for a while and he came back here recently and he came back in the right frame of mind,” Pederson said. “Obviously he’s a tremendous leader on defense and on the team and a guy who wants to learn and just study our defense and just get better and that’s what we need.”

Allen, the No. 7 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, said his offseason work has been a total physical and mental makeover.

“I was just working,” he said. “I was really trying to create myself and really trying to find myself again: find that mindset, find my way of thinking, how I want to approach the game again. I feel like I lost that, bits and pieces. I still had that dog but , it was not at a consistent level.

“I really had to do a lot of deep searching and I really had to practice some habits to really understand, ‘This is the moment you’re in. You’re not going to change this time. I feel like I needed to do more, and that’s the energy I was hoping to have here.”

Allen expanded on his work with Berry, saying, “We weren’t just working, I was also learning the history game. [Former Jaguars defensive end] Calais [Campbell] was always telling me, ‘You want to be great, you want to have all these awards. , you want to have all these accolades… you have to respect the game, you have to respect what was here before you.

“That’s what I wanted to attack this offseason. The first conversation we (him and Berry) had, that’s what it was about. That’s when I knew I was in a good spot.

“I worked on fieldwork, but I also worked on my mind.”

Allen, speaking after Monday’s practice, said he can see the results of his offseason work.

Allen, like many Jaguars players in recent weeks, spoke of the need to move on after a difficult 2021 season, and yes, that influenced his offseason approach as well.

“That’s why I had to go,” Allen said. “I really had to assert myself and really figure out what it was. Now, coming back … a trust was broken in that regard. In order not to break that trust, I have to be prepared myself. I had to find that.” I think I found that.

“I’ll continue to find it every day, but it takes discipline to find it every day. That’s where I’m at right now. That’s what I want to wear and that’s what I want everyone else to wear.”

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