Keenan Allen is only 22 years old and in the midst of his second NFL season, but he already knows how to talk to the media.
Doug Gottlieb, for example, asked Allen how he thought his personal 2014 season was going thus far.
“it’s going pretty well as a team,” the San Diego Chargers wide receiver said on The Doug Gottlieb Show. “I feel like we’ve accomplished a lot of goals and hopefully can end up 3-1 (through four games).”
Notice that Allen said “as a team.” When pressed further to assess his individual season, Allen – who has 12 catches for 109 yards through three games – said, “I’m playing pretty well.”
Allen is yet to hit pay-dirt this season, but expect that to change sooner rather than later. After all, he caught 71 balls for 1,046 yards and eight touchdowns as a rookie, causing defenses to change the way in which they cover him.
Translation? You better believe that safety is providing help over the top.
Still, Allen is still making plays that you wouldn’t necessary expect from a third-rounder. Then again, he shouldn’t have lasted that long to begin with. Allen, who played college ball at Cal, sprained his PCL during the 2012 season and did not work out at the Combine. Many thought he was still one of the best receivers in the draft, but he wasn’t taken until the 76th overall pick.
“I had an injury,” Allen said. “I think teams were just scared that the injury was going to linger on and whoever got me was going to get to benefit. The Chargers wanted me, and I just try to go out and play my game.”
Allen certainly did that in Week 2, catching five balls for 55 yards, much of that coming against Richard Sherman. After the game, Allen admitted he didn’t understand the hype behind Sherman and said he was just another guy. Sherman responded that Allen was just looking to cause controversy and make a name for himself.
“Not at all, not at all,” Allen said. “I was just saying what I wanted to say, saying how I felt. It is what it is. We’ve moved on. We play the Jaguars.”
Indeed, they do. The Chargers (2-1) host the winless Jags (0-3) this Sunday at 4:05 p.m. ET. San Diego has won two straight after losing by a point in its season-opener against Arizona.
“I just think we (weren’t) in a finish mode in Week 1,” Allen said. “Now that we’ve lost, (we’ve) figured out that we have to finish every game. I think we took pride in it and came back to work and (now we) just try to finish every day in practice.”
While Allen had a solid day against the Seahawks, Antonio Gates had a great one, hauling in seven catches for 96 yards and three touchdowns. How is Gates, 34, still able to get open so well?
“He’s done it for a long time – him and Phil,” Allen said, referencing Philip Rivers. “The connection that they have, it’s not too much space you can give them. When they get that space, he’s definitely going to take that opportunity to throw it to Gates. That’s just what he’s good at. that’s what he’s here for. He’s a playmaker.”
The Chargers have quite a few of those – and yet, it seems that they don’t get as much love as other equally explosive teams. Why is that?
“I think the media’s going to talk up who they want to talk up,” Allen said. “You just got to keep winning games and worry about yourself and just focus on what you can do.”
Allen, unbeknownst to many, is a gifted piano player. He plays up to three hours per day in the offseason. He even sings.
Who does Keenan Allen sing like? Gottlieb asked.
Allen’s response? “Keenan Allen sings like Keenan Allen.”