BOSTON (CBS) — Dwayne Allen had a feeling he could be traded this offseason, but given the somewhat salty history between the Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots, he didn’t think the defending Super Bowl Champs were a realistic option.
But much to his surprise, that’s exactly what happened on Wednesday, as the Patriots sent a fourth-round pick to the Colts in exchange for the tight end.
“I never thought that a Colt could get traded here [to New England],” Allen told reporters on a conference call on Friday. “I’m excited to be here, man. It’s been very refreshing meeting everyone in the building and just learning about the culture that makes this organization great.”
It sounded like the five-year veteran could barely contain his excitement over his new team, hinting multiple times that he’ll now be let loose as an all-around player. But his excitement starts with the man who will be throwing passes his way, the greatest quarterback of all time.
“Watching Tom [Brady] from afar has been unbelievable. I’ve always regarded him as one of, if not the best, quarterback in the National Football League,” said Allen. “To have the opportunity to work with him and learn from him is an honor. Most guys dream about opportunities just to work with a ‘G.O.A.T.’, as the term has been thrown around now. I consider the same thing an honor and just look forward to hitting the field and working hard.”
He’s also eager to get into a room with Rob Gronkowski, hoping to earn the spot as the All-Pro’s latest sidekick.
“I’m extremely excited about joining the ranks with Rob. He, of course, is the best tight end in the National Football League, so I think there is a lot that I can learn from him,” he said. “I have been in situations where I’ve split time with other tight ends. I’m not sure what my role is going to be, but I’m excited just to get to work and learn from everyone around me.”
Allen has drawn praise throughout his career for his stellar blocking, which he said is a “lost art” in today’s NFL. He takes great pride in his blocking, and what excites him most about playing for head coach Bill Belichick is the fact that he’ll be asked to do a number of things on the football field.
“One thing that I’ve caught on to early is Coach Belichick’s saying of, ‘The more you can do.’ I’m just about winning. I want to win and I understand that the more skills I can provide the offense, then hopefully the more mismatches that can be created for myself and other players,” he said. “That’s what I’m about. I’m excited to be utilized as a football player again and not be confined to any box, but just to be a football player, a tight end.”