Jared Allen held his introductory press conference with the Chicago Bears on Monday, and the former star Vikings defensive end made it clear that he can still reach the same level of play that has made him a five-time Pro Bowl player.
"It's just, I have a lot left in this tank," Allen said. "My body feels good. And again, I feel like I can make waves. And not for me, personally. I want to win a Super Bowl."
Allen, who has averaged 14.5 sacks over the last seven seasons, said he isn't a big city guy, but he's always had a thing for Chicago.
"What attracted me here is the opportunity to go out and win it, to earn it and win it and be a part of it and be a piece of that puzzle," Allen said. "And again, like I've always said, things have to line up. It has to be the right place, great for my family. Obviously, you want a fair contract throughout the whole deal. And everything lined up."
Allen said his dip in production last season (11.5 sacks) can be attributed to a "glitch in technique," but he's a year further removed from shoulder surgery and his message was confident.
"Just watch me play this year. I'm a full year off surgery on my shoulder," he said. "I want to believe in what I'm playing for and who I'm playing for, and that's why I'm here. I believe in the product they're putting on the field."
1500 ESPN's Andrew Krammer wonders if Allen was taking a subtle shot at the Vikings when he said "it's a cool feeling when you go into an offseason knowing you have a chance to win."
The comment was preceded by another remark about the Bears being one of his top choices because they have an established quarterback – Jay Cutler.
The Vikings have had a revolving door at quarterback. Since the Brett Favre era ended late in the 2010 season, Minnesota's quarterbacks have included Donovan McNabb, Christian Ponder, Matt Cassel, Josh Freeman and even Joe Webb.
In a one-on-one interivew with NFL Media's Stacey Dales, Allen provided further context to what he meant about the Bears having a QB.
"I wanted to make sure that A, they had a quarterback, because if you have a quarterback, you have a chance. B, it had to be scheme or system that I fit into, and C, I wanted to be ... believing in the system and believing in the staff that I'm playing for, and really being on the same page philosophically about what they're trying to accomplish," he said.
Whether or not the absence of consistent play at quarterback in Minnesota really bothered Allen, the soon-to-be 32-year-old doesn't have any hard feelings against the Vikings.
“I don’t wish any ill-will against them, but I’m excited to be a Chicago Bear, I’m excited to play against them, I’m excited to still be in this division,” Allen said. “It was time to move on. They got a direction they’re going, and we’ve got a direction we’re going.
“I wish them all the luck except to not have it against us. They’re another competitor now. They’re another team and that’s what it’s about.”