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Allen: Rookie of Year Would be a Team Award
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The Chargers 2013 season may be over, but Keenan Allen is still high in demand.
The dynamic wide receiver spent over two hours Thursday morning on the phone at Chargers Park with a variety of national radio outlets as everyone wanted the chance to talk with the playmaker. That’s what happens when you are up for the Pepsi Next Rookie of the Year Award with a very real chance of taking home the hardware.
While in the midst of the season, Allen said that he didn’t pay much mind to his stats or the awards he routinely picked up. It was all about continuing to practice and prepare for the coming week, making sure that he kept improving in order to give the Chargers the best chance to win. Allen always strives to remain humble, but Thursday morning, every member of the national media he spoke to kept hammering home what a special season he had.
“I never really thought about it, but everyone kept talking to me about it for the last couple hours,” he said with a smile. “It’s been a long journey thinking about where I was a year ago. I was rehabbing my knee and it was pretty tough to start out that way. But I kept working hard, stayed patient, took my opportunities and kept trying to get better.”
In his first year in the league, the third-round pick set Chargers rookie records with 1,046 yards and 71 catches. He also led all NFL rookies in receptions, yards and touchdown catches (eight), and he became the first rookie to top the 1,000-yard plateau since A.J. Green in 2011. He was also just the fifth since 2000 to do so. No Chargers rookie topped 100 yards in back-to-back games since Don Norton in 1960, but Allen accomplished that feat not once but twice. As a result, he was voted the Pepsi Next Rookie of the Week four times.
A true testament to what kind of person he is, Allen’s concern with the Chargers as a whole trumps that of his individual accolades. That’s why for him, should he win the Rookie of the Year award, it would say more about the team than it would him.
“It would mean a lot because it would show what we were able to accomplish and do as an offense,” he said. “Without Philip (Rivers) putting me in the best position and getting me the ball like he did to let me make a play, I wouldn’t be nominated. Just being nominated says a lot about the team, so winning would mean a lot.”
Still, while he is all about the team, Allen saw his fellow Chargers at the Pro Bowl Draft and admitted he would love to play in Hawaii one day.
“I definitely want to get there,” he said. “I just saw a vine video of Eric (Weddle) running through the tunnel after he was drafted so hopefully one day that’s me.”
Allen recently returned to San Diego after spending time in North Carolina visiting family. He plans to rest for the next couple weeks before resuming workouts after the Super Bowl. Allen will also travel to the Big Apple next week to be on hand for the Saturday night award ceremony and the big game itself.