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Rico Allen has been something of polarizing topic around these parts for quite some time. I'll admit there were even times when I felt we could take him or leave him, but when you are running a single high defense, you NEED to have a free safety out there who can cover up the defense's shortcomings and the problem with evaluating a free safety is most of the time, what they do doesn't show up on the stat sheet, and there can be entire games where he'll do his job perfectly, but it'll look to the casual view like he didn't do anything because no action came his way. That has long been the quandary of Rico Allen. He's never been the ballhawk of say Earl Thomas, who is the gold standard, but he's a cerebral player. @TheFatboi was one of the early ones I can remember who harped on the importance of Rico. Well we got a chance to see what it looked like last year when he went down. The secondary was a mess -- even with Kazee back there ballhawking, and it was the little things that were missing. Last night he was a warrior god. Play#1 - second quarter. Philly has us backed up, and decides to attack our Cover-3 with an old staple, Seams. Philly has two underneath routes, and a flat route just in case, but it's the dual seams they are trying to get to. They're creating a 2 on 1 and the safety can't get to both of them. Cover-3 - Trufant and Oliver playing deep thirds, Rico back single high closing the middle of the field. Hook drops for our two linebacker Campbell and Jones. And the two curl-flat defenders to either side underneath. Key thing here on 1st and 10 is we aren't just spot-dropping to landmarks, we're pattern reading the release of the receivers. At the snap, and this is beautiful quarterback play by Wentz. He's staring to his left trying to move Rico. Underneath our coverage is doing its thing. Campbell is reading #2 to #1. The curl/flat defender to the bottom of the screen is matching that route. We don't worry about the back leaking to the flat until the ball is thrown. Carson snaps his head around, just as his receiver clears into the seam as Devondre passes his off to Tru and looks to pic up that hook route. Not a great pic, but Tru pics the route up beautifully and Rico comes screaming over. Carson can't lead him up the field because Rico is coming to close that window, so he has to put it on the receiver's back shoulder. Beautiful football. Another half a step, and Rico has a pick, but it's a huge play nonetheless. He's processing information and playing so fast there is no window there.