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Jared Allen downplays rivalry with Matt Kalil

Matt Kalil was the Vikings’ first-round pick (No. 4 overall) in April’s draft, and he’s wasting no time trying to prove his value. The former USC offensive lineman apparently has been going after sack master Jared Allen pretty hard in practice, even frustrating the defensive end, according to Tom Pelissero.

Allen is entering his ninth season in the league and told PFT Live he doesn’t have time to deal with a rookie.

“I’m too old to deal with overzealous rookies right now,” Allen told PFT Live. “Keep your hands out of my face, don’t grab my jersey and we won’t have to fist fight.”

While Allen initially seemed bothered by Kalil, he later downplayed a rivalry with the rookie during an interview with NFL Network’s “NFL AM.”

“If I’m worrying about beating him every day, I’ve got bigger fish to fry,” Allen said. “I’m trying to get myself ready for the season. … I’ve had to put a couple moves on him. We did a short-yardage drill yesterday, and I could see him foaming at the mouth ready to come off and take my head off, and ‘Whoops, you missed!’ So … but we’ve been having a good time.

“If I beat you some way and you want to know why, just ask,” Allen said. “At the end of the day, we’ve got to work together, a lot of people been trying to build this hype up between me and him. I told him, I said — I’ve been telling everybody — don’t worry about beating me, you don’t play me. You’ve got 16 other guys you have to worry about. I think he’s going to be all right.”

Allen may be downplaying his problems with Kalil, but it’s clear the rookie got to him. And it’s understandable why he would bristle; Kalil played him well. Allen needs to get over that, respect Kalil, and realize that this will only be better for the team.


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