A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to have about a 10 minute conversation with former Dallas and San Francisco’s All Pro guard Larry Allen about his NFL career, what he did to keep up with the younger guys and about his Super Bowl pick this year.
Here’s how the conversation went:
All-out Blitz: Hey Larry, how are you?
Larry Allen: I’m doing good, Ben.
AB: Good to hear, let me just get right into it. Schoolofthelegends.com (new interactive website) is a great way for fans and players (past and present) to keep in touch with one another. What has been the biggest upside in you joining the site, and where do you see it going in the future? Do you have any ideas of how they can improve the site and add to the experience?
LA: I actually just signed up for it a couple of weeks ago. I don’t know too much about it right now, I’m just trying to get the hang of it. But so far I think it’s a great site for players and fans to keep in touch.
AOB: You played 14 pro seasons (197 starts) at one of the more physically demanding positions. What was the key to staying healthy and having such a long career?
LA: The weight room and eating healthy are the two key things. I think they were the main things I did to stay around for so long.
AOB: You will be eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2013. When voted in, which do you think would be a bigger deal to you: winning a Super Bowl, being inducted in to the Hall or being voted as the 95th best player in NFL history by NFL Network?
LA: They’re obviously all great accomplishments, but I think I will say Hall of Fame would be most important to me.
AOB: Which players did you enjoy watching play growing up, and do you have any favorites in the game today?
LA: I grew up watching Tony Dorsett Roger Staubach and Jackie Slater…I grew up in LA as a Cowboys fan. I really like how Jason Witten, Tyron Smith, Dez Bryant and Demarcus Ware have been playing this season. They’ve done a great job.
AOB: Did you ever pride yourself in being one of the strongest players in NFL history?
LA: Oh yeah, definitely. That was one of my greater individual accomplishments I think.
AOB: What was the toughest part about the transition from college to the pros?
LA: I think the speed of the game and the crowd. I came from a small school so there was only a couple thousand at my games. Then I came to the NFL and there were much bigger crowds.
AOB: Do you still closely follow the NFL? If so, who do you think will be playing in the Super Bowl?
LA: Yes, I do. As long as the Cowboys get there I will be happy. If they make it to the Super Bowl I will hopefully be in attendance.
AB: Thank you very much for your time, Mr. Allen.
Note: This is now the third interview I have been fortunate enough to conduct with a former NFL player. For the other two–former Super Bowl champion safety Steve Atwater and current BAL assistant offensive line coach Todd Washington–can be found in the archives.