I was fortunate enough to catch up with Steelers safety Will Allen on Friday to talk about Pittsburgh’s 3-6 start to the season as well as some other things going on in the game of football.
Sitting at 3-6 headed into this week’s game against the Lions, how confident are you guys that you can make a playoff run?
“We’re optimistic man. Everyone’s positive. Everyone’s upbeat. We know we have a tough road ahead of us with the some tough games left on the schedule with the some good teams left to play. But we’ve been playing better ball. We’re trying to stack some wins here. We’re starting to be more consistent with some things that we’re doing very well.”
What do you think has been the biggest problem with your defense so far this season?
“We just lack some things on the fundamental side. We’ve been cleaning those up in practice. Practicing better, finishing better. That type of stuff has been helping us and showing up in games. As long as we continue to practice better and put our best foot forward then we’ll be more prepared come Sunday.”
What do you guys have to do to slow down the red-hot Lions this week?
” You got to make them one-dimensional. When you make a team one-dimensional you have a better chance of winning and that’s what we gotta do. Reggie Bush is a good running back. They got a third-down back in (Joique) Bell who’s added some spark for them. (Brandon) Pettigrew is good. Without saying, 81 (Calvin Johnson) is probably the best in the league. So making them one-dimensional can certainly work to our benefit.”
What are your thoughts on head injuries in football and CTE?
” I think it’s devastating. obviously not much you can do because we play such a violent game. But there does need to be some type of proactive measures taken place for players post-career and while they’re playing. There are certain things you can do to keep the brain sharp during the offseason. Certain things you can do during the season to keep the brain sharp. Once we’re done playing, providing the necessary therapy. Whether it’s psychological or physical.”
Have you changed the way you play to help minimize your risk of suffering a head injury?
“You want to try to keep the head out of it because you don’t want to injure yourself or somebody. You can still be physical, but it’s hard to keep your head out of it while you’re going 30 miles an hour, 20 miles an hour.”
Do you think you’ll be back in Pittsburgh next season?
“I would like to be back in Pittsburgh. I would have liked to have stayed in Pittsburgh after last year. We’ll see what happens. You know you can’t predict the future.”
Thanks to Will for taking time out of his day to speak with me.