After spending the first five seasons of his career in Philadelphia with the Eagles, safety Nate Allen signed with the Silver and Black as a free agent this March.
Where He's Been
Allen was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles in the second round (No. 37 overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft out of South Florida.
Allen spent the first five years of his career in Philadelphia, appearing in 74 games for the Eagles, making 69 starts. He also recorded 10 interceptions, including a career-high four picks in 2014.
The former South Florida Bull is now heading west for the first time in his career, and is looking forward to working with the Oakland Raiders coaching staff, in particular defensive coordinator Ken Norton, Jr.
"He's [Norton, Jr.] definitely what you would think of when you think of a defensive coordinator," said Allen. "He's super energetic, loud, but he's also smart too. He's doing a great job of teaching the defense, teaching the staff, and where to put us and where we need to be, and bringing everybody together."
Second Time's the Charm
Following the conclusion of the 2013 campaign, Allen came to Oakland on a free agent visit, but the sides didn't get a deal done and he returned to Philadelphia to play the 2014 season.
However, this offseason, Allen returned to the West Coast and decided that the time was now right to join the Silver and Black.
"When I first came out here I was a little skeptical, just because of what you hear in the past, coming from a different organization, but when I got out here I saw what [Head] Coach [Jack] Del Rio was doing, the new staff they had brought in and a lot of the new players they were bringing in, and it just seemed like they were looking to change things now," Allen said. "Sometimes organizations go through a couple of years of rebuilding and a period where they're just rebuilding things, but it really hit me that things are changing to win now. A lot of people say that, but it really seems like that and morale on the field and even in the meeting rooms you can see it, that it really is changing to win now."
A look at the Raiders position by position - we continue with the defensive backs.
The Bottom Line**
Allen describes himself as a "ball hawk," and in tandem with future Hall of Famer Charles Woodson, they should form a formidable duo on the back end of the Raiders secondary.
"I was brought here a lot to [get the ball]," Allen said. "To be an over-the-top guy, play in the middle of the field a lot and be a ball hawk. Go get the ball and create turnovers."
Another benefit to bringing Allen in is his flexibility to play either strong or free safety, meaning that he and Woodson now have the option to be interchangeable assets in 2015.