Colts tight end Dwayne Allen was working out away from the team this offseason during their voluntary offseason workouts, as he was doing his own workout program in an effort to be able to hold up during the course of the 2015 season - because, in 2014, Allen said that his body broke down as the season went on and that he played much of the year at 70 percent. So he cleared it with head coach Chuck Pagano and began an eight-week offseason workout program at EXOS in Arizona.
He planned to re-join the Colts on Monday when they begin OTAs as part of phase three of the offseason program, but he was there this week as the Colts wrapped up phase two. The reason? A plea from Pagano, via text message.
"We need you here. Period," Pagano texted Allen, according to the Indianapolis Star's Zak Keefer. And with that, Allen - the Colts' NFLPA representative - packed up and headed for Indianapolis to be with his teammates.
Of course, the Colts can't force any player to work out with them during the voluntary workouts, and they can't discipline players for not showing up or anything like that. So let's be clear that Chuck Pagano actually doesn't have any power or authority to make a player show up at voluntary workouts, and to do so would be directly against NFL rules. But what Pagano does have the authority to do is make a plea to one of the young leaders in his locker room to be there, and Dwayne Allen took it to heart and showed up. He takes his responsibility as a teammate and a leader seriously and already had said that he wanted to be there with his teammates. So as soon as Pagano texted him asking the tight end to show up, Allen obliged.
It will be a big season for Dwayne Allen in 2015, as he's entering a contract year - but if you ask him, he's not thinking about that but rather about getting healthy and playing well. "Not at all," Allen said when asked whether his contract status is a factor in his mind. "Not at all. It's one of those things, I play this game because I want to be the best. It's not because I want to be the highest paid or anything like that. With the contract looming, it is what is. Coach's contract looming, Andrew's, everyone else's, me thinking about a contract isn't going to help me play any better on the field. Me focusing on having my body in the best shape possible to go out and help the team will."
That's exactly what Allen has spent the offseason doing: focusing on his body in order to be as healthy as possible for 2015, and hopefully the time spent away in Arizona will pay dividends when the season rolls around. And hopefully the time spent as a leader in the locker room during the conclusion of the team's offseason program pays dividends as well.