The Washington Football Team's defensive line is one of the more talked about units in the NFL after what it did to Carson Wentz at FedEx Field, and the group looks poised to deliver on all the hype it generated this offseason.
Just don't try to tell that to Jonathan Allen.
On Thursday, the fourth-year pro was given the chance to speak on whether that initial success validates the constant summer discussion about how dangerous Washington's front could be in 2020. He chose not to get too excited by the performance, though.
"Anybody can be great for one game, and we weren't even great for one game," he said. "We were great for two and a half quarters."
Allen has often dismissed inquiries about his and his teammates' potential during his tenure with the franchise, turning them aside like hors d'oeuvres at a company work party. He's not someone who's interested in chatting about what's possible. He'd much rather prefer just going out and showing people what's possible.
Yet after an afternoon where he and his buddies completely dominated, you'd think that maybe, just maybe, he'd be open to some level of celebration. But nope. Not Allen.
"One thing that I always believed in, that I learned from Coach Saban actually, is, 'Excellence is sustained success,'" he said. "So we have to sustain it. If you do it last week and not this week, it doesn't really matter."
That attitude is one of the reasons why Allen earned a spot as captain on the Burgundy and Gold, and it'll be vital as the D-line tries to build off what it did in its debut.
Too often in this team's past, there'd be an encouraging development one Sunday, only for that development to then completely disappear by the next one. Allen and Co. can't afford to disappear; they must keep surging.
Fortunately, Allen's never been someone to get too comfortable, and the guys he lines up next to share that type of mindset. They aren't going to create eight sacks every time out, but they will make a difference every time out. Just don't try to congratulate them for it.