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Jared Allen to Chicago Bears' brass: 'I'm good still'

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Jared Allen is not done yet.

That according to the man himself. Allen, who turns 33 on Friday, is coming off a disappointing first season with the Bears that hinted at a decline. Now he'll be asked to take on an unfamiliar role as an outside linebacker in Vic Fangio's new 3-4 scheme.

Allen delivered a message to coach John Fox and general manager Ryan Pace at last week's NFL Annual Meeting in Phoenix.

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"I was less anxious and so much more eager to talk to them," Allen told the Chicago Tribune. "Just to say, 'Hey guys. I know the film from last year only shows 5.5 sacks. But don't believe that's all I have left.

"I'm good still. Really."

Allen once told reporters he had no interest in a role as a stand-up rush linebacker. Out of necessity, he now embraces that challenge after 11 seasons with his hand in the dirt.

"It requires you to refocus and rekindle your energy," he said. "You can't get stuck in your same old patterns."

Allen can thank his agent for continued employment in Chicago. The contract he signed with the Bears last year guaranteed him $12.5 million in salary in 2015. It made cutting or trading the pass-rusher nearly impossible.

It gives Allen a second chance at a first impression. Perhaps the underdog role will bring something out of the five-time Pro Bowl selection.

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