Defensive tackle Beau Allen hit the ground running on his first day in Tampa Bay. So much so, that he actually kicked off his own press conference.
"Hey what's up, guys? Beau Allen here," he said unprompted as he stepped up to the podium. "Excited to be with the Tampa Bay Bucs and ready to get to work. I'll answer any questions you guys have."
And then the questions rolled in. Free agency aside, Tampa Bay was an attractive landing spot for Allen, who is used to the 4-3 scheme that the Bucs defense runs. It's similar to the system he was a part of in Philadelphia.
"If we're talking about just purely football, it's a defensive scheme that I'm very comfortable with," Allen said. "In Philadelphia the last couple of years we actually watched a lot of tape from the Tampa Bay Bucs. So, there's a lot of carry-over with the scheme I've done and going forward. I'm excited about that. A lot of good defensive linemen here. Gerald McCoy is a hell of a player. I've seen him play a lot and he deserves all the honors that he gets so I'm excited to play next to him, too."
Consistency and comfort is good news for the Bucs when it comes to Allen, who was a part of the league's best run-stopping unit last season. The Eagles allowed a league-low 79.2 rushing yards per game as well as the least amount of rushing yards over the course of the regular season with 1,267. Opponents scored just seven rushing touchdowns on Philadelphia's defense and the Eagles managed to take the ball away 31 times.
"Stopping the run is a huge part of the game and that's one thing we did really well in Philadelphia last year," Allen said. "We were the number one run defense last year and I think, not to toot my own horn a little bit, but I was a big part of that. We had a lot of good defensive linemen, a lot of good defensive players last year, so that went into it as well but it's definitely a mentality. It's something I pride myself on is stopping the run and being a tough competitor."
Allen got a little more granular than that – breaking down his specific style of play so Bucs fans can know a little bit about what to expect from him in 2018.
"I pride myself on playing a very specific brand of football that did well for me in Philadelphia," Allen said. "I consider myself a tough, dependable, consistent guy. I think that's one thing [the Bucs] liked about me. That's one thing that's not going to change. I'm going to keep being tough, being dependable, being accountable, caring about my teammates. That and I've heard a lot of good things about the guys in the locker room here, so I'm excited to get to know them in that sense, too."
More than his style of play, Allen seems to have a great approach to being on a team and how he views his role. Last season, the Eagles' locker room was consistently praised for how close the locker room was and how much the team seemingly enjoyed each other. It's a dynamic that every team strives for and one Allen was able to shed some light on.
View photos of the newest Buccaneer DT Beau Allen. Photos by AP Images.
"For me football is really about relationships," Allen said. "The relationships between players and players, players and coaches, players and the front office, players and the media, everybody really. I think that's one thing that we did well in Philadelphia. We had guys that cared about each other and played for each other.
"You're going to have great guys and great relationships in every locker room you're in. You're always going to have characters and stuff like that in a good way. That's one thing I'm excited about here. Getting to a new place and making those friendships and creating those new relationships. That's something that's really important to me. I think that's a big part of the game. When you have a group of guys that care a lot about each other and play together and play for each other, that can go a long way. It sounds kind of corny but I believe that."
It's a mentality and philosophy that extends beyond the locker room for Allen, as well. Allen opened up about his mother's battle with breast cancer when he was 12 years old and how that has fueled his passion for the community and making a difference given his status going forward.
"Guys that are in the NFL, we have such a platform to speak out and help people," he said. "I love getting out in the community and meeting people. We talked about relationships earlier and that's a big part of it."
Getting involved in the community and putting in the effort to help others going through similar situations he's experienced is something he plans to continue within the Tampa Bay area. In fact, it's something he does by example no matter where he goes with his long tresses that were neatly tied up for the press conference serving as a constant reminder of what his family experienced.
"I grew [my hair] out long to remind me of my mom and what she's been through. The game of football is tough, but not nearly as tough as the everyday struggles people are going through that you never really hear about."
The Buccaneers signed Allen Thursday morning, making him the first free agent signing of the new league year for the team.