Aug 072010

August 7 Philadelphia Daily News

“Once Nate Allen reaches a benchmark, a new one is set for the rookie free safety.

In the spring, the Eagles wanted to see him in pads. Check.

“I think he’s held his own to this point,” defensive coordinator Sean McDermott said after yesterday’s no-hitting session. “I don’t see any reason to believe he wouldn’t be a very good tackler for us. Anything above that is yet to be seen, in terms of his intensity, once we get into game situations.”

Allen will get his chance to answer McDermott’s and coach Andy Reid’s call for producing against a different opponent and offensive scheme next Friday in the preseason opener at Lincoln Financial Field against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Then, it will be seen if Allen continues being a “smooth operator,” as Reid called him after Thursday’s morning session.

“You’ve just gotta be calm out there,” Allen said. “You’ve just got to take it all in as it comes and try to keep a straight mind out there. There’s so much going on. The bullets are flying, but you just gotta stay calm and think about what you’re doing.”

Allen has given the coaches a peek at what’s going on inside his brain when he’s on the practice field, and Reid and McDermott seem satisfied with his intelligence and how he applies defensive concepts to his game.

Strong safety Quintin Mikell echoed Reid’s and McDermott’s comments on Allen’s football IQ, adding that rookies typically struggle learning blitzes and techniques not taught at the college level. But make no mistake, Mikell warned, Allen is not some football nerd afraid to get in a guy’s face.”

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