Everything about Nate Allen screams professional.
From the diligent manner he adjusts his pads to the way he talks about breaking down film, it’s easy to forget that Allen is in his first season with the Eagles.
The 22-year-old rookie safety was drafted in the second round, 37th overall, out of South Florida.
Allen, of course, is filling in for a legend in Brian Dawkins. He is also the player the Eagles drafted with the pick they received for Donovan McNabb.
“I try not to think about that,”Allen said.
Instead, Allen shows up and plays football. The rookie leads the Eagles in interceptions, with three in his first four games. He also has one of the team’s 13 sacks.
“Moving along,” Allen said, when asked how the season was going. “I still have a lot of work to do.”
Then, the 22-year-old is gone, off to hone his skills on the practice field.
“You never know what you’re getting in the draft as we all know,” defensive coordinator Sean McDermott said. “But in this case, we felt like we had a really solid individual characterwise, work ethicwise, and a very solid football player.”
That’s the reason McDermott threw Allen into the fire. He’s been penciled in as the starting free safety since spring OTAs. Allen, the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Month for September, has handled every challenge since.
“I was pretty much prepared for everything,” Allen said. “I’ve learned very quick, everybody is the top guy here and everybody is up to the challenge, so you have to prepare yourself like it’s the Super Bowl every week.”