Brian Allen had a rough start to his NFL career. During his second year, he was tasked with filling in for the former Super Bowl Center, John Sullivan. Allen had some large shoes to fill. The first nine games had many Rams fans concerned, and Jared Goff’s performance did not qualm those worries.
Despite Rams fans’ concerns, the Rams front office ignored the center position during the NFL draft and free agency, which showed that the front office and coaching staff knew something that many Ram fans did not know.
Regardless, Brian Allen has been elite for the Rams offensive line. Let’s look at his progression.
First, Allen has been a clean player for the Rams offensive line. He’s been penalized once. It may seem incongruent to compare nine games with three games. However, progress must be recognized.
2019 – 9 games
False Start (2)
Ineligible downfield (1)
Total yards – 24
2021 – 3 games
Total Yards – 10
Not much had been mentioned about Brian Allen’s bright spots from 2019, but he allowed one sack in nine games. This statistic was probably overshadowed by the fact that the Rams were struggling in all facets, and it was easy to point fingers at the second-year center.
This year, Allen has only allowed one sack. Impressively, he has gone against Deforest Buckner, Vita Vea, and Akiem Hicks. These players are not on Aaron Donald’s level, but they are some of the best in the league. To allow one sack against these players shows that Brian Allen has evolved into a solid NFL starting center.
Offensive linemen with a wrestling background can be very dominant. Wrestling is poetry in motion. A wrestler has the ability to make some of the most athletic movements from the most awkward positions. Wrestlers are able to do this because they have a physical understanding of their center of gravity. This understanding allows them to have magnificent balance and throw their opponent across the mat at the drop of a hat.
This skill translates over to the football field. A wrestler can use his nuanced knowledge and wrestling ability to physically and mentally manipulate his opponent. Specifically, you can see Brian Allen doing this against Vita Vea. Vita Vea is a dominant presence, but Brian Allen was able to keep him at bay. Metaphorically, Brian Allen was like a stoic mountain that was unbothered by the Vita Vea waves.
Tying It All Together
Allen had a strong foundation to build upon from 2019. In 2019, he only allowed one sack in nine games and was penalized four times. Despite the negative media attention, Allen had the tools and wherewithal to be an anchor for an NFL offensive line, but he did not put it all together.
Now, with time, experience, and Matthew Stafford, Brian Allen has proven many Rams fans wrong, and he has shown that the Brian Allen of 2019 is in the rearview mirror.