Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen is a special player. The second-year man combines magnificent athletic gifts with great instincts. And this year teammates like Shareece Wright have noted that Allen may have even increased his formidable speed in the off-season, according to U-T San Diego. After a successful rookie campaign he’ll need it. No NFL defense is going to be surprised by Keenan Allen this year–they’ll be geared around stopping him. (Though the Chargers are loaded with weapons.) And with the NFL rules against illegal contact being newly enforced, Allen should be more trouble than ever for cornerbacks.
Not all cornerbacks are created equal, of course. And in week 1 Allen will face the Arizona Cardinals phenom Patrick Peterson, fresh off a five-year $70 million contract extension this summer. The 220-pound Peterson runs a 4.4 40. Then there’s the other Arizona corner Antonio Cromartie, who’s probably as good as Peterson. (Only in Arizona could Cromartie be called the “other cornerback.”) Allen knows what he faces. He told U-T San Diego: “I’ve got to go out there and perform against those guys. It’s set up in the best way for me.” Set up for him? You hear that, Peterson?