With so much focus on the draft in recent weeks, some of the current Vikings have kind of fallen through the cracks of media attention. One of those players is Jared Allen, who is recovering from shoulder surgery and entering the final year of his contract.
Allen spoke this week with Sirius XM Radio and said that he is gearing up for the 2013 season because, for the first time in a long time, his ailing shoulder is feeling better.
"My shoulder is doing good," Allen said. "I'm rehabbing it. I've got about 95 percent of my range of motion back. Now it's just the strengthening process trying to get back strength-wise. I'm just excited that I can actually train like I like to train. Last year I was hindered. I could barely lift any weights because my shoulder was so messed up."
Allen didn't get into specifics about his contract status other than to acknowledge that he is in the final year of the deal he signed with Minnesota after being traded to the Vikings by Kansas City in 2008. He didn't speak about a contract extension, but believes that, if he comes back strong, he won't have to worry about his contract.
"All I know is I'm a Viking this year and I'm going to go out and play my heart out and try to win a Super Bowl," Allen said. "I try not to think about that stuff. My motto is if I take care of my job on the field, the rest will take care of itself."
Allen praised the Vikings draft and the bold move to get three first-round picks. He believes that if the Class of 2013 heads to Mankato with the same work ethic and resolve that the 2012 rookie class did, the Vikings could well be back on their way to the playoffs again this season.
"These young guys coming in, everybody looks good on paper right now," Allen said. "We'll have to see how they pan out come September. If you go back to last year's draft and the work ethic I saw out of these young guys coming into training camp, if they continue to work this year like they did last year, we should have a good team. God willing, if everybody stays healthy, we should be able to make another run at this thing."
With the training camp still three months away, Allen is getting the itch to start popping pads and hasn't forgotten the humbling defeat the Packers handed them in the playoffs in January. He is using that as motivation and hopes the rest of the team will use that defeat as a spark that will propel them in 2013.
"I can't wait to get this year going," Allen said. "I'm excited about our draft and I'm ready to go out and knock some heads. I've got a bad taste in my mouth from getting embarrassed in the playoffs. Hopefully these young guys do too and we can go back and make a run at this thing."
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.
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