Most rookies struggle out of the gate as they try to adapt to the otherworldly speed and athleticism of the NFL game. They adjust as the season goes on, and by the end of the year, they're a far more effective player than they were at the beginning.
That path is not an option for Vikings rookie tackle Matt Kalil because he's facing Jared Allen in training camp. If he doesn't want to end up face down and crying on the grass after every play, he better get pretty good, pretty quick.
And evidently, he's holding his own. Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com tweeted this on Tuesday:
Matt Kalil just stonewalled Jared Allen two snaps in a row in one on ones. Allen cursed loudly.
Being able to frustrate Jared Allen is a pretty nice feather in the cap of any rookie. Sure, it's just two plays, and I'm sure there have been many others that haven't gone as well for Kalil, but keep in mind what he's facing. That he's not getting destroyed on every play is an accomplishment.
Jared Allen was quick to point out that, yes, there are times when Kalil doesn't enjoy the Jared Allen experience quite as much. He had this to say on NFL AM this morning:
I've had to put a couple moves on him. We did a short-yardage drill yesterday, and I could see him foaming at the mouth ready to come off and take my head off, and 'Whoops, you missed!' So ... but we've been having a good time.
If Kalil has even made a conversation of his battle against Jared Allen, the regular season should be a breeze for him.