Unlike in 2019, a more complete Brian Allen feels like he’s ‘driving the bus’ at center

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

When Les Snead and Sean McVay ignored the center position in the 2021 draft, fans were up in arms about the glaring hole in the middle of the offensive line. Austin Blythe signed with the Chiefs, leaving the Rams with few options at center.

Austin Corbett was on track to move from right guard to center and got reps there in minicamp and training camp, but a late shift caused Corbett to stay at guard and elevated Brian Allen to the starting center role.

Allen will be the starter in Week 1 against the Bears, which has a portion of the fanbase concerned. He struggled back in 2019 before suffering a significant knee injury, which he’s now fully recovered from.

And not only is Allen healthy, but he feels like a more complete center. He has a better grasp of the offense and believes he’s more in control than he was two years ago. Allen discussed how he’s a different player and a different center now than he was in 2019 during an appearance on the Rams Revealed podcast with J.B. Long, admitting it was an up-and-down stint as the starter two seasons ago.

“I think then, coming off being (John Sullivan’s) backup, that was really my first opportunity to get in there and run the show and understand the intricacies and the ins and outs of it,” Allen said. “I had an idea, seeing John do it, and then actually getting in there and feeling it and learning it, it was an up-and-down year for me. I had some good games, I had bad games. Kinda towards the end there, we kinda got away. Thought we were going the right way momentum-wise getting better, then that happened – I’m hurt, I’m out, new guys are in. But a lot of stuff you can build off positively. I think I had some really good games against really good guys, then I did some really dumb stuff that young guys do. At the same time, being out the last year, year and a half, I’ve never stopped learning. I’m in the meetings, I’m learning from other guys. I’m a more complete center. I understand our offense and anyone in this building will tell you that doesn’t come quickly to anybody. Doesn’t matter what position you are and in our offense, the center has to know a hair less than the quarterback, so it’s a lot and a lot to process. At times, I don’t want to say I was overwhelmed, more so just not certain, not driving the bus how the center needs to be driving the bus and I haven’t felt that once this year, so it’s good to feel all that work come to fruition.”

Despite being sidelined by his knee injury, Allen remained present and involved in everything he could off the field. He was still learning while he was injured, which should help him as he enters this critical year.

He also helped Corbett while he was temporarily transitioning to center this summer, which he believes will make Corbett a better guard this season.

It’s encouraging to hear Allen’s optimism about the upcoming campaign, but he still has a lot to prove. If he struggles, the Rams’ entire offensive line could take a step back.

It’s fantasy football season! Dominate with The Huddle. For 25 years, they’ve helped players WIN. Sleepers, custom rankings & much more. TAKE 20% OFF* with code sleeper21. *New customer offer, cannot combine offers. Expires 9/8/21.