Larry Allen and Tyron Smith share the same home state of California, but the gap between Allen's and Smith's rookie seasons is 17 years.
Smith is 20 years old. Do the math. He wasn't exactly aware of Allen's rise to dominance back then.
Smith did know a little about Allen's Ring of Honor (and likely Hall of Fame) career when he arrived as the ninth overall draft pick in April, and he soon learned more from offensive line coach Hudson Houck.
"When I got here, coach (Hudson Houck) told me so many stories about him," Smith said. "I basically watched film on him. He was a very aggressive guy, one of the best to play the game."
Allen was in town this weekend for his Ring of Honor announcement with Drew Pearson and Charles Haley. Houck also invited him to work with Smith, the projected starting right tackle. Allen planned to treat the rookie to lunch.
"Basically he's just telling me to be aggressive," Smith said. (Thursday) at practice when he talked to me outside, (he said) just be aggressive with what I do and don't take it easy on anybody."
Allen never did, and that's why he's one of the greatest offensive linemen of his generation. Smith has potential to be pretty good, too.