For the first time in his professional career, Nate Allen is heading west.
The veteran safety signed a contract with the Oakland Raiders Thursday after spending the past five seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles. During his tenure with the Eagles, Allen played in 74 games with 69 starts, posting 380 tackles (257 solo), 10 interceptions, 28 passes defensed, four sacks, three forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.
"I just fell in love with everything and the direction that the organization is going and the coaching staff they brought in, and the group of guys that we have here," said Allen after signing his deal. "It's a great thing and like I've been saying, we're planning on winning now. We're not trying to rebuild and try to do this or do that, we're trying to make something happen now, this year."
After growing up in Cape Coral, Fla., Allen earned a scholarship to play at the University of South Florida, where he played in nine of USF's 13 games as a freshman.
Allen then became the model of consistency for the Bulls, starting each game for the next three seasons before declaring for the NFL Draft, where he was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles in the second round (No. 37 overall) of the 2010 draft.
The former Bull enjoyed a successful run in Philadelphia, helping the team secure two playoff berths, as well as recording a team- and career-high four interceptions in 2014.
Allen now sets on his sights on finding success in the Silver and Black in 2015, and is looking forward to refining his game under former All-Pro and current defensive backs coach Marcus Robertson.
"He [Coach Robertson] brings a lot of knowledge just from the little bit that I've sat down and talked to him," Allen said. "Just to be able to work with somebody like that of his caliber, and even [assistant defensive backs coach] Rod Woodson, it's great. I know they're going to try to make me the best player I can be and I'm excited about that."
In addition to Coach Robertson and Coach Woodson, Allen will have the added benefit of playing in the secondary with future Hall of Famer Charles Woodson.
"Obviously his resume speaks for himself," Allen said of his new teammate. "He is who he is, a future Hall of Famer. Just to be able to work alongside a dude like that, I mean I couldn't ask for a better situation."
With both Allen and Woodson in the defensive secondary, Allen's versatility will be on full display, as he can play both strong and free safety.
"We'll figure all that out when the time comes, but like I've been saying, however I need to help the team win, I'm going to do it," he said. I'm going to put the team over myself. Whatever I have to do to help the team win is what I'm going to do."
Heading into 2015, Allen is excited for a fresh start and looking forward to putting the pads on and getting back to work.