Don't mean to bump down anything from Saturday's big USF win at UConn -- yes, the Bulls are 2-0 in the American -- but had the chance this week to catch up with former USF safety Nate Allen, who is back in Tampa today as his Philadelphia Eagles face the Bucs at Raymond James Stadium. Allen's started every game this season at strong safety and is an unrestricted free agent after the season. Here's what he had to say ...
Q: I know you played here last year and won, but what is it like for you to come back to Tampa?
A: It's nice to get back down there. It's familiar territory and I get to see family -- a lot of family coming to the game and friends I went to school with. It's nice getting back to Tampa.
Q: How many tickets have you squirreled together for your cheering section?
A: It's probably about 30-40 tickets. I've got a nice little group coming.
Q: I know the Eagles' record isn't probably what you'd like it to be, but how has this season opened for you personally?
A: It's been good. We wish we were a little bit better, but as far as the NFC East, we're sitting pretty good right now. We're not satisfied. We know what we have to do, and we still have a long season. We just take it a game at the game, go out and give it our best. End of the season, this could come down to one game that's the deciding factor of whether you make the playoffs or don't.
Q: Much has been made of Chip Kelly coming in and the changes on offense. How have things changed for you on the defensive side?
A: It's changed a lot, going from a 4-3 to a 3-4. As far as safeties, we're pass-first guys, not as aggressive in the run game. I don't want that to sound the wrong way -- we fit as needed in the run game.
Q: Where do you want to see this defense make the most improvement?
A: Just our fundamentals, just doing the little things, touching up everything. Obviously there are going to be mistakes in every game. That's inevitable. We want to touch up all the minor mistakes and work on fundamental stuff, executing well.
Q: Are there guys you know well on the Bucs' roster?
A: Not many right now. Daniel Te'o-Nesheim, he was in Philly with me my first two years. We got drafted together. He's one I know pretty well.
Q: Have you gotten back to a USF game since you left? Kept up with the Bulls?
A: I haven't been to any since I left. I hear it's a little tough down there. They'll get it right. I have faith in them and I'll always stay faithful to them. I'm an alumni and that's my school. I hope they can get it right quick. But I'm blessed and trying to make this go as long as I can here.