5 Minutes With Roob

5 Minutes with Roob: Beau Allen getting better and better

5 Minutes with Roob: Beau Allen getting better and better

Beau Allen is definitely one of the unsung performers on this Eagles' roster.

Now in his fourth year as an undrafted free-agent defensive tackle out of Wisconsin, Allen played a career-high 28 snaps per game this year in the Eagles' D-line rotation and is a valued enough player that he was on the field when the Eagles stopped the Falcons on 4th-and-2 with the game on the line Saturday.

Allen joined us for this week's 5 Minutes with Roob.

Roob: We've got to start with the most important thing. Tell us about Seven-Layer Jello.

Beau: "Oh yeah, that is by far the most important thing. Seven-layer jello is a dish that my mom makes, and it's pretty self-explanatory. It's seven layers of jello. It's kind of a visual spectacle, too. It's different flavors of jello kind of stacked on top of each other. Usually, you have a clear bowl and it's a main dish at basically any Allen holiday event. It's pretty good. My mom's a great cook. She hates when I talk about it, but it's really an amazing dish."

Roob: The nucleus of this defensive line — Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, Vinny Curry and you — has been together a long time. All you guys have been together since at least 2014. How big is that for this group?

Beau: "I think we are a pretty well-seasoned group. We have spent a lot of time together and we all really like each other too. One thing that we're all pretty experienced, we've all gotten a lot of reps, and we all bring kind of a something different to the table. Fletcher is a different player than I am and Timmy (Jernigan) is different from Destiny (Vaeao), and the same thing with the defensive ends, and I think that makes it tough for offensive lines."

Roob: You played 17 percent of the snaps as a rookie, then almost 30 percent in your second year under Bill Davis, then up to 40 percent last year and 41 percent this year. How hard have you worked to go from an undrafted rookie free agent to a key part of this defensive line rotation?

Beau: "I don't really like to talk too much about how hard I'm working. I feel like if you're talking about how you're working hard you're probably not working that hard. But yeah, whenever you get to this time of year you kind of look back a little bit. It's been a heck of a journey for me. I tore my pec last offseason and it seems like it was a really long time ago, but it was just seven months ago or something like that. But battled back from that and to end up where we are now, playing for the NFC Championship against the Minnesota Vikings, it's really cool. It's always fun to look back and kind of see how far you've come."

Roob: What was your first career playoff game like?

Beau: "It was amazing. It was really cool. I was fortunate to be on the field there at the end of the game, and anytime you get a 4th-and-2 stop for your season, it was pretty electric. I kind of blacked out, but celebrating after that play was a lot of fun."

Roob: On that play and really the whole game, you guys seemed to approach it like any other game, despite what was at stake. How big was that?

Beau: "When you come to playoff football, what it really comes down to is just doing your job, just doing what you've done to get to that point. Not really trying to do anything above and beyond your role. That's one thing we all try to do, just perfect the little details of each play, and I think that gets even more elevated in the playoffs."

Roob: Chris Maragos is always talking about the crazy atmosphere at Wisconsin home games at Camp Randall Stadium. How did Saturday at the Linc compare to football on Saturday afternoons in Madison?

Beau: "It is pretty similar. One thing that I love about Madison and Camp Randle is 'Jump Around.' I think it's the coolest tradition in college football. But both are definitely rowdy fans that are really passionate about the game of football, so definitely similar in that aspect."

Roob: How important has it been to focus on the Vikings and not think about how the Super Bowl is just one win away?

Beau: "I'm definitely a one-day-at-a-time, a one-play-at-a-time kind of guy. You can't look too far ahead. We're just focused on this game Sunday and, like I said, doing all the little things. That's definitely how we've approached it this week and kind of how we've approached every game this season."

Roob: OK, you're from Minnesota. Can you please assure Eagles fans that you're not — and never were — a Vikings fan?

Beau: "I put an end to that narrative real quick. I grew up about 30 minutes west of Minneapolis. I was a Packers fan growing up. Not a Vikings fan. Nobody in my family is Vikings fans. They're all going to be out here cheering for us on Sunday. I made sure of it. I gave them lie detector tests and flashed a real bright light in everybody's face and made sure. They've all been vetted thoroughly."

Ellerbe says Eagles feel like 2012 Super Bowl Ravens

Ellerbe says Eagles feel like 2012 Super Bowl Ravens

With Jordan Hicks hurt and then Joe Walker hurt, the Eagles turned to veteran Dannell Ellerbe as their first-down linebacker late in the season.

Ellerbe, a nine-year veteran and a Super Bowl winner with the Ravens in 2012, signed with the Eagles on Nov. 13, and after playing just one snap his first five weeks here, he played 27 in the win over the Raiders and 48 in the regular-season finale against the Cowboys.

We spoke with Ellerbe about Ray Lewis, winning the Super Bowl and what he likes about this Eagles team on this week's "5 Minutes with Roob."

Roob: You came into the league as an undrafted free agent back in 2009. What were the challenges of starting your career undrafted?

Ellerbe: Originally, I was on the scouting reports with a first-round grade going into the draft, but I got hurt and some other things came up. So I just wanted to show that I belonged in the league. You have a guy with a first-round grade who’s an undrafted free agent, it’s not because of his play. So I decided to go to the Ravens because they’re known for defense, and it worked out.

Roob: You got to play from 2009 through 2012 in Baltimore with Ray Lewis. What was that like?

Ellerbe: One of the greatest to ever do it. He was a great guy to study and the energy that he brings, I haven’t been with anybody like him since.

Roob: You intercepted Tom Brady in the AFC Championship Game back in 2012, helping the Ravens get to the Super Bowl. What's it like picking off the greatest quarterback ever on that stage?

Ellerbe: Our defense was clicking on all cylinders. So it was great. Everybody was making plays, so it was just my turn to make my play. I had a broken thumb so I had a big cast on my hand, and that made it even more special.

Roob: How tough was it being on the street the first three months of this season?

Ellerbe: I knew I was going to get picked up sooner or later. I was just trying to treat my body right and trying to stay in shape and keep working out. I got away from the game completely. I didn’t watch any games until I started getting interest from teams. I just wanted to be fresh.

Roob: Why did you ultimately choose to sign with the Eagles?

Ellerbe: I came here because this was the team that really wanted me. There was no turning them down.

Roob: How hard is it to get into shape to play regular-season football without a training camp?

Ellerbe: The only way you can be in football shape is to play football. Even when I come to training camp, I’m prepared, but the only way you can prepare to play football is to play football and getting those reps.

Roob: You’ve been here two months now. What’s your impression of this team?

Ellerbe: It’s like a family. It’s like a family. It’s like we felt when I was at the Ravens. Everybody vibing with everybody and everybody getting along. It just feels like a family atmosphere.

Roob: You’re one of several guys on this team that's won a Super Bowl. Malcolm Jenkins, Corey Graham, Torrey Smith, LeGarrette Blount. What can you guys who’ve been to the top of the mountain teach the younger guys? 

Ellerbe: Basically just staying focused. At the end of the day, it’s still football. The only thing that magnifies this game is the outside, the outside people and the crowd. At the end of the day, we’re doing the same thing. We’re playing a nameless faceless team. We’ve just got to go out there and play our game.

Roob: Is that a tough lesson for young guys to learn?

Ellerbe: For the young guys right now, I don’t think they’ll fully understand it until they get older. They’re just living in the moment right now. But we try to preach to them that this is not guaranteed. My first four years in Baltimore, we were in the playoffs and I got used to being in the playoffs, and after we won the Super Bowl, I haven’t been back to the playoffs since, so this is my first playoff game since the Super Bowl.

Roob: That was a crazy Super Bowl. What do you remember about that moment?

Ellerbe: They cut the lights off! Winning it, it was a feeling like no other. I just started running around on the field. My body just left me. I just broke down and prayed. It was great.

Chris Long is loving his 1st season in Philly

Chris Long is loving his 1st season in Philly

It's been quite a year for Chris Long. He signed with the Eagles after winning a Super Bowl with the Patriots and has earned a significant amount of playing time and recorded five sacks and four forced fumbles in the defensive line rotation. He donated his entire 2017 base salary to fund scholarships in his hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia, and he even got a shoutout from President Obama for his charity work (see story)

This week Long spent "5 Minutes with Roob."

Roob: Hey, we're joined today by Eagles defensive end Chris Long. Hey, Chris! What's this year been like for you?

Long: I really like the city, I like the fans, obviously came here because it fit me scheme-wise, and I’ve been enjoying being a part of a really good football team that hopefully is going to play here for a while.

Roob: You won 37 games in eight years with the Rams, and you've won 27 games the last two years with the Patriots and Eagles. How sweet is it to finally be part of a couple winning teams?

Long: It certainly helps. At the end of the day, it doesn’t make the eight years any shorter from that standpoint, but I think everything happens for a reason and it makes me value this winning a lot more. So just appreciate what it’s taken to get here personally and it makes everything worth even more.

Roob: You've put up solid numbers in your 10th season at 32 years old. How do you feel like you've played? 

Long: I’m excited to be a part of this defense. I expected more out of myself maybe as far as statistically. I was shooting for more. A couple plays here and there that if I make those plays or if there aren’t penalties, we’re talking about even more. But at the end of the day, I’d say you come into a situation like this — new city, new coaching staff, nobody’s going to expect much out of you at 32 years old. People put labels on you and I just tried to play my way out of that.

Roob: Where do you feel like you guys are right now, a few weeks after you lost Carson Wentz for the season?

Long: Nick (Foles) came in in L.A. against a tough defense and was able to help secure the win and the next week really carried us in New York when we weren’t at our best defensively. Gave us an opportunity to win that game by putting up big numbers. We played really well on defense last week. Maybe the offense wasn’t at its best, but we created some turnovers and that’s what a team is, we pick each other up. It can change from week to week. We want to put that together and play our best game on both sides of the ball this week and going forward.

Roob: What do you like best about this team?

Long: I think personalities. Unselfishness. I do think Doug (Pederson) does a great job of keeping everybody resilient and even-keeled and I think that shows in the locker room. There’s never panic among players. I think we’re just a level-headed group and unselfish and come to work.

Roob: How much longer do you want to play?

Long: I take everything year to year. Honestly, it’s all about the situation. Do I think it’s worth it to play, and I’m not talking about money, I’m just talking about just enjoying myself and playing football the way I want to. My body feels great and I feel like, God willing, I could go another four sometimes, but you’ve got to take things year to year.

Roob: You've gotten a lot of publicity for donating your salary to charity and the charity work you've done. What does that mean to you?

Long: Most of my career I’ve tried to do things under the radar in the community. I always thought it was more important if you didn’t publicize it, but I learned a valuable lesson when I formed my own foundation and my Waterboys Initiative that you need to publicize things and get people involved, and through that power, we’ve been able to raise over $2 million for clean water. That doesn’t include my own money and as far as my Pledge 10 for Tomorrow Initiative that I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of, I’ve donated my salary, which isn’t a ton of money, but at the end of the day I’ve been pretty much able to double that with fan support, and without doing that stuff publicly I can’t get a return on my investment in those causes. We’ve got a lot of great fans in the NFL and a lot of great peers in the NFL that care deeply about causes and if we all pitch in together that’s the power of sports.