Jared Allen and Matt Kalil are being billed as heavyweight boxers set to duke it out on Monday for the first full-contact practice of training camp for the Minnesota Vikings. Kalil is looking forward to the seasoning that could be provided in a very short time by going up against the best pass rusher in the NFL in Allen, while the latter is looking forward to ... hitting things, as usual.
As noted, all of this is going down on Monday (that's today). Kalil and Allen have exchanged playful insults, with the former tweeting a picture of a wheelchair and suggesting it was in Allen's future, while Allen has said that Kalil needs to keep it clean, lest he start a fistfight. It all should be very entertaining, but in the end, all that both players legitimately want is to get better.
The Star Tribune had some quotes from Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier on the matter:
"You really want it to be game-like, and that's going to help Matt as much as anything," coach Leslie Frazier said. "You watch Jared practice over the years, he only practices at one speed, so he's not going to take it easy on Matt. And it will help Jared as well because Matt is going to challenge him. He may be a rookie, but we think he's going to be a rookie who can play above being a rookie."
Allen and Kalil, when actually being serious, have noted that they just want to get better. Allen wants to help Kalil grow into being an anchor for that offensive line to protect Christian Ponder. Minnesota has won many a game just based on their defense alone, but if Kalil can grease the gears and make that offense click, then that will make Allen's job a whole lot easier.