For Whom The Tone Is Set

when he tore the ACL and MCL in his right knee.

Nah, you don't think for one minute Parcells wanted an early evaluation of where Peterman was just in case he really had to move Allen to right tackle at some point, do you? And you don't think Parcells would ever think placing Allen on physically unable to perform for a couple days would give his 33-year-old Pro Bowler a little break, since he basically knows what Allen can do?

Hey, sorry, call me skeptical. (And I just saw where New England placed DT Ethan Kelley on non-football injury failing his conditioning test. Big Bill and Little Bill?

And on top of all that, there is this: Allen didn't seem embarrassed. And he didn't seem mad . . . not as he seemed back in 2003 when he complained of ankle and knee problems, and continued to finish woefully last every time the team ran sprints in the Alamodome.

Hey, Allen is an immensely proud man. You think he would want to be shown up the first day of camp before the some 3,000 people here? Including his mother?

Me thinks Larry took one for the team.

Twice in two days Parcells has said of this year's message to the players: "I want people to subordinate their egos for the good of the team."

Hmmm.

You don't think - naw shame on me for even considering this - that Parcells made an example out of Allen to prove a point to the younger guys that he means business this training camp? What do you think some guy like, oh, Peterman or Jacob Rogers or Matt Tarullo, is thinking? Man, if that Bill will do something like that to his Pro Bowl guard who's been in the league 11 seasons, what in the world might he do with me if I don't toe the line?

Same for some Tyson Thompson or Bruce Thornton.

You think this does not make an impression on some guy contemplating breaking curfew or dogging it in practice or weighing the consequences of committing some sort of team indiscretion?

That's tone.

And maybe it's me, but I thought Parcells went way out of his way on Friday to set a real "business" tone to this training camp. He acted uninterested in the opening press conference. Some even thought he was his same old sour self.

I thought he was acting a tad, because when he walked off after the hour session, he certainly wasn't grumpy.

And I also thought he went out of his way to reveal how hard he had worked in the off-season to get himself in better condition; to reveal that he had run 15 miles since he had arrived in Oxnard on Monday; and to reveal he was physically conditioning himself to maintain his energy level throughout the season.

Said he, "I've had to increase my energy level a lot. That's why I attempted to do that physically. I want to be able to stay on their ass everyday is really what I want to be able to do. That's the best way I can put it."

Repeat after me: Stay on their (booties) everyday . . . .

And you can't do so everyday without doing so the first day. So when it comes to Larry Allen, that's the best way I can put it.

Set it, and they will follow.

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