Philadelphia Eagles News

Unshakeable Allen Prepped For Debut

To this point, rookie second-round draft pick Nate Allen has looked every part of a starting free safety.

As much attention defensive end Brandon Graham has received in training camp, and rightfully so, no other draft pick is slotted to be a Week 1 starter. We'll get our first glimpse of Allen and the rest of his draft class tomorrow night. But the Eagles could be one step closer to realizing a solution at the safety spot opposite Quintin Mikell.

"I'm going into it like the Super Bowl," Allen said. "I'm confident in the playbook and what we've got to do. I'm excited. I'm ready to go."

A team captain at South Florida, Allen finished his collegiate career with 224 tackles, nine interceptions, four fumble recoveries and three forced fumbles. He also scored four touchdowns. Since the start of last year's training camp, the Eagles have given Quintin Demps, Sean Jones, Macho Harris, Marlin Jackson and now Allen the opportunity to win the free safety job. Allen believes that his extensive playing experience in college, where he started in each of his last 39 games, has eased his transition to the pro game.

"You just have to stay in the playbook. It's just asking a lot of questions," Allen said. "I feel I've come along pretty well, but I've still got a lot of work to do. I'm just looking forward to getting under the lights and playing."

Mikell said earlier in training camp that Allen has already earned his trust with his humble approach. Defensive coordinator Sean McDermott said that Allen has "done extremely well up to this point."

"Nate is a very mature young man and he has to this point been very unshakeable," McDermott added.

-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 7:15 p.m., August 12

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