Sports

With addition of Allen, Bears expecting bigger things after defense struggled last season

  • Chicago Bears defensive end Jared Allen (69) talks to the media at a news conference after the team's NFL football training camp at Olivet Nazarene University on Friday, July 25, 2014., in Bourbonnais, Ill. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

    Chicago Bears defensive end Jared Allen (69) talks to the media at a news conference after the team's NFL football training camp at Olivet Nazarene University on Friday, July 25, 2014., in Bourbonnais, Ill. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)  (The Associated Press)

  • Chicago Bears defensive end Jared Allen (69) stretches on the field during NFL football training camp at Olivet Nazarene University on Friday, July 25, 2014., in Bourbonnais, Ill. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

    Chicago Bears defensive end Jared Allen (69) stretches on the field during NFL football training camp at Olivet Nazarene University on Friday, July 25, 2014., in Bourbonnais, Ill. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)  (The Associated Press)

Jared Allen insists it's about more than just one player when it comes to Chicago Bears and their defense.

Never mind that he was the big prize, the shiny new centerpiece in an offseason rebuild.

For a team aiming high after finishing 8-8 a year ago, there is no bigger symbol of hope than the 6-foot-6, 270-pound defensive end. And that symbol was on display Friday as the Bears conducted their first training camp practice.

Allen says the "collective whole" and the "energy of each individual" will determine how well the defense performs this season after struggling a year ago.

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