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Keenan Allen on New Offense: "It Allows Us to Play More Freely"

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For a few weeks now, Chargers players have been learning their new scheme and system virtually.

But enter Monday. 

That was the first day the team took to the field to implement what they can at this point of the offseason program and see the new system begin to take shape.

So how did Keenan Allen feel getting acclimated to what offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi is installing?

"I think it's great," the wide receiver said. "It's pretty much the same as we've had from years before, just different terminology and different coaching points, obviously. Different way that they look at it and talk about it. I think it's going to be better. It allows us to play more freely. We're not so strict. They open us up a little bit, so it's pretty good."

But along with all that, Allen also discussed how different personnel groupings will benefit what the unit can do offensively.

"Being versatile, being able to switch it up and being able to put guys in different spots, you create different mismatches," he said. "You kind of dictate what the defense can do and what they can't do. It's definitely exciting, and it gets me matched up against linebackers and number three cornerbacks, so it should be easy."

The ninth year wideout finished the 2020 season with 100 receptions for 992 yards and eight touchdowns. He also earned his fourth-consecutive Pro Bowl honor.

Other Highlights from Allen's Presser

On Brandon Staley

"I think (Staley's energy and presence is) big. Especially having a new coach, you want to start to gain trust, and you want to believe in somebody you can trust and feel like you're going to fight for. I think he's giving us that. The way he talks, it's just giving us the confidence that we can go out there and play for a coach who is going to lead us in the right direction."

On Justin Herbert

"Herbie is getting better, man. There was a moment out there today, [WR] Mike [Williams] was like, 'Hey, Keenan, has he been working on his play-calling?' He's calling it so much smoother and more composed than he was last year. He's going to get better with repetition, so I'm excited to see what he does this year."

On Adjustments to OTAs

"Being full speed in OTAs, it's kind of bittersweet. You obviously want to run around, as an athlete, but it's a bunch of stuff for nothing, honestly, when you're running around for no reason, just to get hurt at the end of the day. The way he [Head Coach Brandon Staley] explained it is lining up, knowing what to do, knowing where to get to and being able to be in the spot that we need to get to. Then, when we get to training camp, we can play fast and not have to think so much. It's great."

Check out the best photos from the first week of Chargers OTAs at Hoag Performance Center.

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