Sunday, June 26, 2022

Eagles Speedster throws a $10,000 gauntlet to a Pro Bowl teammate

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The Philadelphia Eagles’ fastest man title was to be a one-man race. Devon Allen is an Olympic gold medalist and professional track and field athlete. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.35 seconds, winning national hurdles championships in the process.

All should not face a challenge to claim the fastest Eagle. He’s a walking, blurry human, like Barry Allen. Flash. But some of his teammates want to try their luck to beat him in the race. The loudest of these guys? Darius Slay, who ran the 40 in a lightning-fast 4.36 seconds at the 2013 Combine.

Not only does Slay want to face Allen, he thinks he can beat him. The two could line up their sneakers at training camp to settle the debate once and for all. If that’s the case, Allen revealed at Takeoff that he had put a $10,000 price tag on it.

“I know Slay is very fast. I know he’s a bit older. I’m not going to talk too much crap because I’m a 27-year-old rookie.” Allen said John Clark“But some of the guys said ‘let’s race’ and I’m fine with that, but being a pro track and field athlete I don’t race for free so I’m like ‘okay, let’s.’ I’m going to race, but $10,000 a race, and nobody’s approached me about it yet.

Slay heard Allen’s challenge and immediately responded on Twitter, “Line it up lol.” To which Allen did rang back: “Let’s get it!” Remember, the two bonded about two months ago when Slay showed up to support Allen at The Penn Relays. They clearly have a healthy friendship brewing.

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Allen had been missing from Eagles OTAs for the past few days, but he had a valid excuse: He tested positive for COVID-19. That’s right, the world-class Olympic athlete had a very brief battle with the coronavirus — 10 hours, Allen said — but stayed away from the team facility for fear of transmission to his teammates.

“COVID hasn’t hit me quite as hard, which I’m quite fortunate about,” Allen said. “You know, I got the vaccine and the booster and all that. I was sick for about 10 hours and then I kind of got upset.”

He hasn’t been on the field with the Eagles for two weeks, although the 27-year-old rookie was there at every single meeting thanks to Zoom. Allen said he doesn’t feel like he’s missed too much while studying the playbook at home.

“I didn’t really miss much other than the stuff on the field,” Allen said.

He still has a few big track events on his books ahead of training camp. First, Allen will compete in the Grand Prix in New York City on June 12th. Shutting down from COVID-19 has lost a large chunk of his training time, although the extra rest on his body could benefit him in the long run.

“The plan was to spend last week in Philly and then get ready for the New York Grand Prix this week, but unfortunately I got COVID so I took last week off and didn’t really do anything,” Allen told Clark. “Not really the ideal recovery situation but my body feels a bit fresh as I haven’t been training and kinda slammed myself into the ground. I am confident that all the training I took at OTAs in March and April will somehow catch on.”

Allen — three-time national champion in the 110-yard hurdles — knows why the Eagles signed him to a three-year contract. They believe in his speed. He will get a chance to play receiver and look for his name on special teams where he can blink these wheels as a returnee. Allen is one of the fastest guys in the world.

“My teammates are thrilled to have me here,” Allen told Clark. “They seem pretty excited and think it’s cool that I’m the track and field athlete and the Olympian, some of the guys also joined The Penn Relays about a month and a half ago.

“And for the most part, I think my job is to be the fast guy. I’m one of the fastest guys in the world so I have to show that on the field and that’s something I hope. About 10 days after the World Championships I report to the training camp and I expect to be as fast as I have ever been in my life.”

The World Athletics Championships will be held July 15-24 at the University of Oregon. Allen plans to compete there in the 110 meter hurdles. The Eagles report to camp on July 26th.

“And for the most part, I think my job is to be the fast guy. I’m one of the fastest guys in the world so I have to show that on the field and that’s something I hope. About 10 days after the World Championships I report to the training camp and I expect to be as fast as I have ever been in my life.”



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