The Bucs Training Camp Diaries are an annual feature on PewterReport.com and we have two gems this year in veteran nose tackle Beau Allen, who will give PewterReport.com readers insight into the Bucs defense during training camp and the preseason, and rookie running back Ronald Jones, Tampa Bay’s second-round pick, who will offer his perspective on the offensive side of the ball.
Tampa Bay general manager Jason Licht needed to revamp the defensive line this offseason and the first free agent addition was signing Allen, fresh off winning the Super Bowl with the world champion Philadelphia Eagles. Allen, who was a run-stuffing role player in Philly, enters Bucs training camp as the starting nose tackle next to six-time Pro Bowler Gerald McCoy. At 6-foot-3, 327 pounds, Allen has the size and power to not only be a force against the run, but also collapse the pocket. Playing primarily on first and second downs, Allen notched 87 tackles and two sacks in his four years with Philadelphia, and had 20 tackles and a sack last year as the Eagles won their first Super Bowl.
Playing in the pass-happy NFC South, Allen looks to get to the quarterback more often as a Buccaneer, as the likes of Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and Cam Newton often pass the ball on first and second downs. While Allen’s roster spot is assured due to his three-year, $15 million contract that features $7.25 million in guaranteed money, he is fighting for playing time in Tampa Bay’s defensive line rotation. Follow Allen’s first training camp in Tampa Bay in his Training Camp Diary exclusively on PewterReport.com, as he and the team’s ultra-talented defensive line look to come together, rush the passer and get the Bucs into the playoffs in 2018.
I’VE BEEN CALLED ‘FAT THOR’ BEFORE
As told to Scott Reynolds
It was definitely not ideal to see Vita Vea go down with an injury today. It’s usually my policy to not talk about injuries and things like that. I don’t know what happened. One thing we do have in the D-line room is depth. I know Vita wants to be out there with the boys, but honestly, we have a lot of good veterans ready to step up. We’ll be good to go.
Bucs DE Jason Pierre-Paul – Photo by Mary Holt/PR
JPP (Jason Pierre-Paul) is playing some defensive tackle for us as well as end. He’s incredibly twitchy. He’s long and he has a lot of moves in his arsenal. He is a hell of a football player and he’s tough to block for offensive linemen. When you have guys like that that are a threat everywhere you want to put him all over the place to keep offenses off-balance. It’s fun to watch. He’s a good dude and a good football player.
Our third down package could be JPP and Gerald McCoy inside with Vinny Curry and Noah Spence outside at end – and Beau Allen dropping back into coverage! No, I’m kidding – but it’s all about getting guys into position that they can get wins and get pressure on the quarterback. The one thing I am always thinking about is that if you want to rush the passer you have to stop the run.
I haven’t seen Ryan Jensen in pads yet. Maybe he’s ducking me. You’ll have to ask him that. No, I’m kidding. He’s a good dude. I am looking forward to squaring off against him, though. A couple of years ago we had some joint Eagles-Ravens practices and we got to know each other a little bit then – if you know what I mean. It is what it is. There are a lot of guys out here competing. It’s going to be fun, but I’m excited to get him back. It’s going to be fun.
I knew about Gerald before coming down here, but I didn’t know that Gerald was as big into Batman as he is. We were talking about that the other day. Batman is DC. I’m more of a Marvel superhero guy myself. I’m a Thor guy. Because of my long hair I’ve been called ‘Fat Thor’ before, which I don’t get because I’m lean and mean! But yeah, I like Thor a lot. Everybody knows what kind of guy Gerald is and how he is as a player. I said that during my initial press conference, and I’m excited to play with him.
I have a lot of respect for Ali Marpet and the way he plays the game. I think he’s a very technical player. He’s the kind of guy that does everything right. It’s easy to do all the right stuff on the football field, but outside of that he’s just a good guy. I think he’s a really good player and I don’t know if he gets enough credit for doing what he does for the team. Last year he played center. Man, that’s tough. He’s on his third position in three years. That’s tough. I don’t know if people understand how tough that is and he does that without complaining.
Bucs LG Ali Marpet and DT Beau Allen – Photo by Mary Holt/PR
I don’t have a roommate right now in camp. But if that gets out, and all of a sudden I get one, I’m going to be pretty pissed. So let’s keep that a secret, okay? I’m one of the few guys that doesn’t have a roommate in camp, but that’s probably better for the other guys. They wouldn’t want me as a roommate because I’m a bit of a handful.
When you go somewhere new you have to be comfortable being uncomfortable. It’s not going to happen right away. We’re all, as NFL athletes, hard on ourselves. We’re not perfect so we have to keep working and getting better. The heat is definitely a bit of an adjustment, and so is the tempo. I was with Chip Kelly in Philadelphia for a bit and we did some up-tempo stuff there. You create that chaos and it forces players to communicate. It helps guys calm down and I think that’s good for young players to be exposed to. Running tempo in the heat is great from a physical conditioning and mental conditioning standpoint. We’re not at Chip Kelly tempo here, but it’s still pretty fast. We’re playing at a very fast tempo here, which is good.
I came down here as a new guy, but there are a lot of news guys down here this year, especially in the D-line room. I think it’s fun to watch everybody grow together over the course of time and in training camp. It’s also fun to joke around and [expletive] around with each other during camp and have a good time – coaching staff included because they are a part of it. We’re building a really good camaraderie together. You spend a lot of time together in training camp, man. There’s no way to avoid it.
We have a day off and I’m looking forward to that. I’m chillin’. I’m a simple dude. Nothing crazy. I’m going to sleep in, I’m going to get a lift in, eat breakfast and take care of my body.
Follow Bucs veteran nose tackle Beau Allen on Twitter at @Beau_Allen
The next Allen Bucs Training Camp Diary will be posted in a few days as well as regular RoJo Bucs Training Camp Diaries. Be sure to visit PewterReport.com multiple times throughout the day during training camp for new stories and updates from practice live from One Buccaneer Place, and follow us on Twitter at @PewterReport.
Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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