Brian Allen draws huge praise from Sean McVay for Week 1 performance

By Cameron DaSilva

There was not a lot of optimism about Brian Allen making his first start since 2019 on Sunday night against the Chicago Bears’ physical defensive front, especially knowing he would have to match up with Akiem Hicks often. But the former third-round pick played surprisingly well in his 2021 debut, allowing just one pressure and earning an 82.1 overall grade from Pro Football Focus.

The fact that his name wasn’t called much at all throughout the course of a night was a good sign, and coming out of the victory, Sean McVay is encouraged about the fourth-year player. McVay loved the way Allen played and believes he’s only going to keep getting better as the season goes on.

“I loved it. He’s another guy, you talk about great stories that just make you so happy for guys,” he said. “You look at the way that he has consistently just demonstrated a resilient mindset and mentality as he’s recovered from what was a really tough knee injury against Pittsburgh a handful of years ago, or a couple of years ago. He just had belief, he just continued to grind at it. He played really well, we got a game ball. I just think his rapport with Matthew (Stafford), his competitiveness, his physicality, and then also, his poised, calm demeanor as he’s getting the calls communicated and recognizing a variety of things where we didn’t really have an inventory, didn’t know what to expect. I thought he was great. He’s only going to get better, but he got a game ball for us yesterday. He’s one of those feel-good stories that you love so much about working with people like him. I want to continue to see him do what he’s done and build off of that, but really pleased with Brian. Really happy for him.”

Allen has been viewed as an undersized center, and he looked somewhat overmatched in his nine games as a starter in 2019. But he played physically and with an edge on Sunday night, as evidenced by this pancake on Akiem Hicks, who attempted to spin off of Austin Corbett before Allen stepped in.

There’s reason for optimism with Allen moving forward and clearly the Rams are comfortable with him manning the all-important position in the middle of the line. Sunday was one of the tougher matchups he’ll have all year, so it was an encouraging start for No. 55.


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