|Allen's got 'bigger fish to fry' than the youngster Kalil. (US Presswire)|
Tom Pelissero of ESPN 1500 pointed out that Kalil "stonewalled" Allen twice, with the result being that Allen "cursed loudly." However Allen, appearing on NFL AM Wednesday morning, said that there's no real competition between the two players and that he's got "bigger fish to fry."
"If I'm worried about beating him every day, I've got bigger fish to fry," Allen said. "I'm trying to get myself ready for the season. I go through training camp the same way every day. But I've had to put a couple moves on him. We did a short-yardage drill yesterday and I could see him foaming at the mouth ready to come off and take my head off and … whoops, he missed. But we've been having a good time and like I told him, I said "Hey if you want help on anything, if I beat you some way, just ask." But at the end of the day we got to work together.
"A lot of people try to build this hype up between me and him and I told him and I've been telling everybody, don't worry about beating me. You don't play me, you've got 16 other guys to worry about."
There's also this: Allen wants Kalil to get better. Since, you know, they're teammates and everything. Plus, Kalil has to help in the development of second-year quarterback Christian Ponder, who Allen believes needs to "take a step"
"Christian Ponder has all the ability in the world, but how is he going to take what he learned this offseason and put it on the field and be consistent with it?" Allen said. "And that's what I've been telling him: it's time to take that step in being that franchise quarterback and being the leader on this team. And I think the kid's got the mindset to do it. He's got the right amount of arrogance to be really good in this league so I'm excited to see what he does this year."
Ponder will certainly be crucial to the Vikings living up to the "division champs" expectation of owner Zygi Wilf (expectations Allen said he's perfectly fine with, and with good reason), but the real key to Minnesota magically toppling one of the tougher divisions in the NFL is Adrian Peterson returning to form. Allen believes that will happen because ... AP says so.
"Adrian's a machine, man. I don't think there's nothing he can't come back from. He's just a beast," Allen said. "And he's a heck of a teammate too -- people don't realize that he's a good locker room guy. He works his butt off. He could easily be a very selfish human being but he just wants to win football games.
"So I'm excited to get him back, but I have no reason not to believe he won't be ready because that's what he tells us. He tells us he's going to be ready and he usually follows through on what he says."
If AP returns by Week 1, the Vikings will be significantly more dangerous than they were last year. But expecting a division title is still the lengthiest of long shots, given the Vikes weaknesses on defense, Allen notwithstanding. But that's the beauty of August and training camp -- it's the NFL's spring, with hope getting eternal and whatnot.
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