PHILADELPHIA, PA (CBS) — Beau Allen would like to debunk a few myths. For one, he never beat up a bear with his bare hands. The Eagles’ rookie nose tackle wants you to know that he is an avid animal lover. The stout Allen never pulled a tree out of the ground with his bare hands, either. But his parents had him do a lot of yard work as a kid.
The legendary exploits, however, of the Eagles’ 6-foot-2, 335-pound seventh-round draft choice out of Wisconsin does include once eating a whole ham hock—and holding the record for pasta eating at a local joint in Madison (once devouring eight bowls of spaghetti).
His nicknames have covered the gamut, too. He’s been called “a lumberjack” and his Badger teammates affectionately dubbed him, “Fat Thor,” because of his long blonde hair, “but I’m a chubbier version, I guess,” Allen says.
What Allen is proving to be is a human anvil with piston-churning legs, a disruptive power source inside that the Eagles sorely need, and he doesn’t have to slam down Mjolnir, Thor’s hammer, to make an impact.
“I’ve learned a lot so far and Coach [Jerry Azzinaro] has been great in teaching fundamental technique,” said Allen, who played very well in the Eagles’ first pre-season game on Friday against the Chicago Bears. “Coach Az focuses a lot on the little things and my priority is to continue to learn. I have Damion Square and Bennie Logan in front of me and they have done a lot to teach me; I have learned a lot from them. I do feel that I’ve come a long way since OTAs, but I know I have a long way to go to learn more.”
Allen says he needs to continue working on little things like hand placement and footwork. He needs to dial down his pre-snap anticipation. After the Bears’ game, the Eagles’ coaching staff did relay to him that they liked his bull rush and his downfield pursuit.
One teammate that’s been very impressed with Allen is Eagles’ center Jason Kelce, who has gone up against Allen a good portion of time during training camp as Logan was nursing a hamstring injury.
“Beau has a lot of the raw abilities that you want to see in a guy that’s a nose guard,” Kelce said. “He has really, really good feet and at the same time he’s extremely big. He has a lot of the ability that you want to see in a rookie and as he’s gotten more familiar with the defense, and this level, and he’s gotten better and better each week. He’s learning from some really smart players, from Logan and Square and coach Az. He’s in good hands and he’s progressing really well.”