Veteran pass-rusher Jared Allen started the 2015 season with the Chicago Bears, but he did not stay there very long. After three games, he was traded to the Carolina Panthers -- now he's preparing for Super Bowl 50.
Allen expressed his gratitude for the Bears, who allowed him to pursue a more comfortable role with a more competitive team.
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How about that, huh? You know what? The Lord is good. I'm comfortable with my hand on the ground, that's what I want to do. I've got to thank Coach (John) Fox and Ryan Pace for allowing me to move and making this possible. To be able to be at this point, from where I was at the beginning of the year and (now) playing in a 4-3 system, it's phenomenal.
It's been a great journey. I would have liked to get here a lot sooner, but I'll take it when it comes. It's been a true blessing. My whole career has been a blessing. To come back and be able to play at home, where I grew up, it's awesome.
Allen signed with the Bears before the 2014 season, but Chicago switched to a 3-4 base defense when the new regime came in last offseason. After 11 seasons as one of the NFL's most productive defensive ends, he was asked to stand up and play outside linebacker. It was an awkward transition, leading to the decision to trade him to a team with a 4-3 defense.
After watching the Bears finish 6-10 from afar, Allen must be thrilled that he has an opportunity to win his first Super Bowl ring at the age of 33.