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Dwayne Allen opens up on 'tough' 2017 season, why 2018 will be different

Ryan Hannable
August 01, 2018 - 2:31 pm

FOXBORO -- Dwayne Allen's first season in New England did not go as planned.

The tight end, who was traded to the Patriots from the Colts last offseason, finished the year with just 10 catches for 86 yards and a touchdown, even though he played in all 16 games. As a comparison, in 2016 with the Colts he had 35 catches for 406 yards and six touchdowns in just 14 games.

Allen opened up on the 2017 season following Wednesday's practice where he admitted he didn't come to the Patriots in the best shape and didn't take care of his body.

“Last year was tough, but you come to work, you try and do the right things, treat people the right way and work hard," Allen said.

“If anyone was let down last year it was myself -- the way I played and took care of my body just wasn’t representative of the player I am or the man that I am," he added. "I want to come back this year and do a much better job.”

The tight end acknowledged he was battling some injuries last year, which may have contributed to his subpar season. Allen did not disclose what they were, though.

“We all play through things. It’s the National Football League," he said. "You figure out a way around it. The body is amazing the way it overcompensates for little things. Maybe you have a hip [injury] and the body learns how to twerk your back and cut your glute off, whatever it may be to get you to walk straight. The body is an amazing thing and when you are playing at this high of a level you can’t have those little things in the way."

The Clemson product changed the way he approached the way he trained this offseason and it's paying dividends as he's moving noticeably better this summer and looks far ahead of where he was a year ago. Much of this is thanks to the Patriots' staff.

"Tom [Brady] said last year everything builds -- your offseason builds," he said. "Offseason builds into OTAs, OTAs build into the summer, summer into training camp. I tried to work at that progression with the offseason work.”

Added Allen: "I have a great training staff here -- great nutrition staff and a great weight staff that have been working with me. I have been working on my body and making sure I came back at tiptop shape.”

Players in their second year in the league usually take a big jump from the first and while Allen wouldn't acknowledge it feels like the same thing for him now that he's in his second year with the team, he did say he feels more comfortable with the offense.

“My understanding of the offense is a lot better. My understanding of defenses and defensive looks, and again, taking care of my body," he said.

While Allen's 2017 season may have been a year to forget, 2018 should be much different and it all began during the offseason with a new mindset and way to train.

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