Some people were surprised that the Jets drafted a safety, Calvin Pryor, in the first round. After all, they brought back two safeties – Dawan Landry and Antonio Allen – who started last season. But while Allen admitted Thursday that the Jets picking Pryor did raise his eyebrows a bit, he is not worried about Pryor’s arrival cutting into his playing time. “Not at all, as far as I’m concerned,” Allen said. Why not? “Last year,” Allen said. “You saw last year, man. You’ve been watching the tape. Man, I put on a lot of good tape. I’m just confident in my ability and what I can do out there on the field.” Allen had an interesting 2013 season. A seventh-round pick by the Jets in 2012, he began the season as the starter opposite Landry, but saw his playing time dip when the Jets signed future Hall of Famer Ed Reed on Nov. 14. Reed took over Allen’s starting spot. In the first five games after Reed’s arrival, Allen’s snap counts were four, 12, nine, 24 and 10. In the final two games, though, Allen played 48 of 69 snaps, and 34 of 65. The Jets declined to re-sign Reed in free agency, so it seemed Allen was in good position to again start opposite Landry, who turned 31 in December. Then the Jets picked Pryor. “I was kind of surprised, but then, I don’t think anything is going to change for me,” Allen said. “I put on a lot of good film. I work really hard, just starting from the bottom coming up. Hopefully, we’ll both be out there on the field. We play a lot of safeties.” Let’s examine Allen’s production last season, the results of his film. He had a big interception return for a touchdown in a win over the Patriots – the only pick of his career so far. For the year, he also had three tackles for a loss, including a sack. He defended six passes in 2013. In a win over the Raiders, he blocked a punt and recovered it in the end zone for a touchdown. It was his second blocked punt of the year. Pro Football Focus rated Allen 57th of 86 safeties last year. In coverage ratings, he was 79th. Against the run, he was 11th. Those numbers come as little surprise, since Allen was an outside linebacker in college and had to learn to cover more in the NFL. But in the win over the Patriots, Allen did an admirable job on tight end Rob Gronkowski. The Patriots targeted Gronkowski 13 times when Allen defended him. On those 13 targets, Gronkowski had five catches for 77 yards, according to Pro Football Focus. Allen also got his pick six while defending Gronkowski. Allen was asked Thursday about his impressions when the Jets drafted Pryor, who is known as a hard-hitting, in-the-box safety whose coverage skills remain uncertain.
Jets' Antonio Allen says he is 'not at all' concerned about Calvin Pryor taking his playing time
Newark Star-Ledger | May 23