The Minnesota Vikings are happy to have offensive tackle Matt Kalil finally under contract. The fourth overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft was locked in a contract dispute that had to do with guaranteed money and offset language and, in the end, got what he wanted. Now that he can come into training camp and get started ... it's time to shell him with the football equivalent of an artillery bombardment.
Which of course means Jared Allen.
The Associated Press recently had some quotes from Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier, in which he notes that Allen could provide some very good seasoning for Kalil:
"It should be real good for Matt to go against maybe the best defensive end in the National Football League on a daily basis in practice, and I think it will be good for Jared as well because Matt is going to challenge him," coach Leslie Frazier said. "He may be a rookie, but we think he's going to be a rookie who can play above being a rookie."
Alen is a nine-year veteran with 105 sacks in his career and what must be a few thousand quarterback hurries to his credit. He had 22 sacks last season, which was good for half-a-sack short of the NFL record, which is held by Michael Strahan. In the piece, Kalil notes that he thinks Allen will help him in any way he can, which roughly translates to "he's going to hurt me a lot, both mentally and physically."
Which is all just fine at this point. Kalil is one of the better tackle prospects in recent years and should begin his career right at the premium spot at left tackle. Few rookies will get the chance to come in and learn from a guy of this caliber, and the help he'll receive in technique from the individual matchups with Allen alone should get him ready sooner rather than later.