Marcus Allen chat transcript

Marcus Allen, NFL.com

03:00 PM

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     Good afternoon everyone. I'm happy to be here to take your questions. Before we get started, I wanted to let you all know about a sweepstakes with Hampton Hotels that I'm involved in. Hotel guests who book online at 
    [http://hampton.com](http://hampton.com) will receive the opportunity to attend three college football bowl games in three days -- the Peach, Orange and Sugar bowls. 

Now, let's take some questions.

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Kevin, North Carolina

03:06 PM ET

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     You truly had a great career. Of the new breed of RB's, who reminds you somewhat of yourself? 
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Marcus Allen, NFL.com

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     I don't think there's anybody out there that is like me, I guess you would say. 
    [Darren McFadden](/player/darrenmcfadden/284/profile) is probably a guy who reminds me a lot of myself. Obviously he's a lot faster than I was. But just in terms of versatility and being able to do everything on the field. I think he's the one guy. 
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Frank Salas, Dallas,Texas

03:08 PM ET

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     Marcus, how did you like playing with Joe Montana up in KC? 
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Marcus Allen, NFL.com

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     I loved playing with Joe Montana. I wish I would have played with him earlier in his career. He was magical. He and I had a mental telepathy. We were on the same page. I knew exactly what he was thinking; he knew exactly where I was going to be on the field. There were times he threw the ball to me when he wasn't even looking at me. 
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Robert Schroeder , Independence, Mo.

03:10 PM ET

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     If you had the choice of LaDainian Tomlinson or Adrian Peterson as your running back, who would it be? 
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Marcus Allen, NFL.com

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     LaDainian Tomlinson. I just think he is the quintessential running back. He has all the tools. He combines passion and the desire to be the greatest running back to walk the planet. He's a guy that I sort of look at as the measuring stick today. 
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James, British Columbia, Canada

03:12 PM ET

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     How do you feel about your brother Damon's astounding career in the CFL, passing for more yards than anyone is Pro Football history? 
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Marcus Allen, NFL.com

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     I look back at marvel at the amount of yards -- it's close to 100,000 total yards between passing and running -- and I felt like he could have had a great professional career in the NFL. But it wasn't meant to be. But he took full advantage of the opportunities that were presented to him and he's become a legend in Canada. 
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Paul Jackson, Buena Vista, Georgia

03:14 PM ET

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     Marcus, During your time playing in the NFL, other than yourself, who was the fastest player you've ever seen on the field? 
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Marcus Allen, NFL.com

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     Whoa. That's a tough one. I played with a lot of guys that were track stars and gold medalists that were in the Olympics. That's a hard one to pinpoint in particular ... Willie Gault, Ron Brown, Cliff Branch, Sam Grady, Alexander Wright ... all those guys were legitimate track stars. 
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Erik Spangler, Richmond, Va.

03:16 PM ET

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     As a former Raider, and after watching their performance last night, how do you think they will fare this season? 
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Marcus Allen, NFL.com

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     Well, I think they're going to have a long year. I was expecting more the first outing. But it appeared that they were the same 
    [Raiders](/teams/oaklandraiders/profile?team=OAK) that have been in disarray on offense, defense and special teams. 
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Dave, Sydney, Australia

03:19 PM ET

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     What's the most satisfying run you ever completed, aside from the one against the 
    [Redskins](/teams/washingtonredskins/profile?team=WAS) in the 
    [Super Bowl](http://www.nfl.com/superbowl/47)? 
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Marcus Allen, NFL.com

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     That's really hard. I've had over 3,000 runs. Some of the runs that are the most satisfying are the ones that most people wouldn't even acknowledge as special. Sometimes it's breaking 10 tackles just to get back to the line of scrimmage. 
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Ben, Sweden

03:20 PM ET

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     Hi Marcus. You are one of my all-time favorites, a guy who could break a long run at any time. It was a pleasure watching you play. What NFL running back do you enjoy watching the most? 
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Marcus Allen, NFL.com

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     L.T. I think he just has a wonderful style about him. He has speed, he has balance, he has just a great gift of change of pace, moves … artistically, he's just a great guy to watch. 
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Chad Coene, Webster, New York

03:22 PM ET

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     What do you think of 
    [Darren McFadden](/player/darrenmcfadden/284/profile) and his future in the NFL? 
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Marcus Allen, NFL.com

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     I think McFadden is going to be an exceptional running back. What impressed me this preseason, at least, was when I saw that he was able to run between the tackles. I've always been sort of a little bit skeptical of running backs that have been in the spread offense. In my opinion, those are just plays where guys are already in space. When you can run in closed quarters and be productive in those areas, you can clearly run outside if need be. So I think he's going to be a fine back in this league. 
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Riles , Denver, Colo.

03:24 PM ET

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     Not many great running backs in history can last or desire to last for 16 NFL seasons. What was it mentally and physically that kept you coming back year after year? Was there a specific moment when you said, 'hey, it's time to retire?' 
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Marcus Allen, NFL.com

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     My quest to be one of the greatest that ever played. That was always foremost in my mind. I wanted to be mentioned among the legends. I didn't come in this league just to be one of the players who suited up and say that I played in the NFL. I wanted to be one of the best. 

I said that the last three years of my career. But unlike Brett Favre I never went public with it. You just sit down to yourself and think about if emotionally or physically it's something you want to continue doing. I think it always comes down to the amount of time that is spent in meetings and training camp and things like that. Those are the biggest deterrents. I think most guys would like to play if we didn't have to practice as much and not go to all the meetings that we sat through for 16 years. Those become rather redundant, but although they're necessary.

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Mike Carter, San Angelo, Texas

03:27 PM ET

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     With another impressive performance from 
    [Adrian Peterson](/player/adrianpeterson/2507164/profile), would it be safe to say that as a second year starter is the best running back in the league, putting him ahead of the likes of LaDainian Tomlinson and Fred Taylor? 
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Marcus Allen, NFL.com

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     Two years does not make a phenomenal career. It clearly establishes him as one of the best, but I still think of L.T. as the best, because of his consistency, the way he's played the game, the style in which he plays, the number of touchdowns he's scored. His productivity is really off the charts. 
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Brett, Traverse City, MI.

03:30 PM ET

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     You looked reborn after you went to K.C. How did it feel knowing you had a chance to win everytime you stepped on the field with another H.O.F. player like Montana? 
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Marcus Allen, NFL.com

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     You play the game to win. I can only imagine how some people feel or play the game when there isn't a realistic chance of winning. I think it could be very discouraging. But when you know beyond the shadow of a doubt, that you're expected to win, that you have a great desire to win, and your team feels the same way ... it's a great feeling. 
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Matt W., Mendocino, Calif.

03:31 PM ET

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     Who do you think the greatest running back of all time is? 
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Marcus Allen, NFL.com

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     A lot of people argue, whether it's Jim Brown or Barry Sanders. I like to give them all their due. They're all great in their eras. People could argue today that the game is a lot faster. Everyone is bigger, stronger and faster. But when you look at Jim Brown's numbers, putting up those phenomenal numbers in only 12-game seasons -- he played nine years and he led the league in rushing eight out of those nine. I think you have to sort of lean towards Jim Brown. But they're all great. 
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Yusuf Randolph, St. Louis, Mo.

03:34 PM ET

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     Who is the best running back to come out of USC? 
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Marcus Allen, NFL.com

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     All around, I think it would be me. 
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Ronnie Monico, New Castle, Pa.

03:36 PM ET

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     Who was the toughest college football team you ever faced when you played at Southern California? 
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Marcus Allen, NFL.com

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     Well that would be Ronnie Lott, Dennis Smith and Chip Banks at practice. The games were pretty easy. At practice, that was the toughest. 

Matter of fact, I give credit to those guys who really made me a running back. I didn't know what to expect. I didn't know a great deal about playing running back because I started as a defensive back. Then I got the opportunity to play running back and I got indoctrinated. And I know that if it wasn't for those guys, and how difficult they made it for me, and the fact that they didn't treat me as a friend -- they treated me as an opponent -- gave me pause for to fight and become the player that I was.

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Sancho, Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

03:40 PM ET

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     If you were to play defense, what position would you have liked to play? 
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Marcus Allen, NFL.com

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     It would be corner or safety. Most likely safety. I really felt like I was a trained killer. 
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Frank Salas, Dallas, Texas

03:41 PM ET

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     Marcus, what would you say was your best achievement when you were playing, and how did you like playing at Arrowhead Stadium? 
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Marcus Allen, NFL.com

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     First of all, I loved playing at Arrowhead Stadium. One of the great fan bases of any team in the NFL. 

What was my greatest achievement? I don't know. It could have been off the field -- helping change the free agency system and putting my name on the dotted line to challenge the league and help create what is now considered the great era of free agency movement.

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Eric Reeves, Vermillion, South Dakota

03:43 PM ET

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     It seems that players these days are bigger, faster and stronger than they used to be. How do you think a player of your caliber or someone such as Eric Dickerson would fair on a modern playing field? 
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Marcus Allen, NFL.com

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     Yeah, but that question wouldn't apply to me. I think you would have to go back to the 1950's or 60's. For the last twenty-something years they've been bigger, stronger and faster. I played in the era of 300-pounders who could run. I played in the era of cornerbacks that were gold-medal fast. I played in the era where linebackers could run with running backs. You would have to go back. Jim Brown was as big as the offensive linemen when he played. That's not the case today. 
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Scottie, Carrollton, Ga.

03:46 PM ET

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     Do you ever think about coming back to the NFL? 
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Marcus Allen, NFL.com

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     No, No, No. That illusion has never imbedded itself in me. 
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Quentin Joyner, Abingdon, Md.

03:48 PM ET

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     Hi, Mr. Allen. You and Tony Dorsett are my two favorite NFL running backs from the 80's! How did you choose the number 32? 
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Marcus Allen, NFL.com

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     Actually I was number 33 in college, and it was already worn by Kenny King. Although I was a big fan of Jack Tatum's, 32 was available and I took it. I always felt that 32 was one of the great numbers in football and one of the great numbers in all of sports. I think it worked out well. 

Hey everyone, thank you for joining me on today's chat on NFL.com. Unfortunately, I'm out of time. Thank you for sending in your questions - sorry I couldn't get to them all.

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