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Senior Bowl Notebook: Allen exploring future

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MOBILE, Ala. – He's not sure yet what the future holds.

But former Jaguars linebacker Russell Allen perhaps would like to get back into the NFL – no longer as a player, but in some role – so this is the place to be this week.

Allen, an outside linebacker for the Jaguars from 2009-2013, was at the 2015 Reese's Senior Bowl this week, attending it with his agent, Steve Caric, and exploring potential options for the future.

"He and I were talking about next steps, and what I might be interested in doing," Allen said while attending the South practice at Fairhope Municipal Stadium Tuesday afternoon. "He said, 'If you have any interest in being around the NFL you should come out here this week.' I took him up on it.

"I'm basically just following him around, catching up with whoever I see and seeing where it all hits."

Allen played in 78 games for the Jaguars – including 44 as a starter – after joining the team as an undrafted free agent following the 2009 NFL Draft. He retired because of health reasons in the 2014 offseason.

"I'm just here to learn about the other side of the ball, if you will," he said. "I played for so long and now I'm on the other side of things. I'm learning how it all works. It's been neat to see how it's different."

Allen said he spent much of the past year since retirement with his family. He and his wife, Ali, had their second child in August.

"It's been really good for me to get to be home and get some quality family time," Allen said. "My oldest son was born in the middle of the season, so that was different with the busy-ness of the season. I've been really enjoying get some quality family time.

"I obviously miss the game, miss playing, but I was going to miss it no matter when it was over. You're always going to miss it, but it has been good."

Allen's not alone among ex-Jaguars players around this week's game. Former left tackle Tony Boselli, a Pro Bowl selection from 1996-2001, is assisting with the South team offensive line. Former fullback Greg Jones, who announced his retirement last week, also is assisting with the South team.

Also around the Senior Bowl:

*Former Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall is playing for the South team this week, and is playing at a new position: cornerback. Marshall originally was on the South roster as a quarterback, but after making the decision to enter the NFL as a cornerback Marshall approached Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley – the head coach of the South team – about playing corner this week. "It's tough," Bradley said. "I'll tell you what I appreciated about Nick is he came up to me and said, 'You know what Gus? I want to try defense. I want to go in there and play corner. I want to be a part of special teams.' The thing that jumped out to me was his competiveness. He just wants to contribute." Bradley said Marshall's early work was impressive. "We made that decision earlier (Tuesday), then to come out here and jump in and go full speed … you could see him progress as practice went on." …

*NFLDraftScout.com and CBS Sports Draft Insider Rob Rang said this year's coaching staffs – Jacksonville and Tennessee – will provide good opportunities to scout the game's offensive players because each team runs a relatively standard pro-style offense. "The way college football is going right now, so many teams are using the spread and read option and things like that," Rang said. "To see players forced to acclimate to a pro-style offense I think is critical. It makes the projection to the NFL that much easier." …

  • Rang said he was impressed with the rosters for the Senior Bowl this week, particularly the small-school talent. "They're high-caliber players, and generally high-caliber kids," Rang said. Harvard linebacker Zack Hodges (6-feet-3, 245 pounds), Harding wide receiver Donatella Luckett (6-0, 210) and Samford safety Jaquiski Tartt are all in the Senior Bowl and projected as possible third-round selections. …

*Rang also said while last year's wide receiver class "was extraordinary," this year's class also is solid. The Senior Bowl is good at the position, too. While Auburn wide receiver Sammie Coates is considered by many a first-round possibility and the top receiver in the game, Stanford wide receiver Ty Montgomery and Fresno State wide receiver Josh Harper are considered second-round possibilities. "It's one of the relative strengths of the class, and it's reflected in this group as well," Rang said. "You may not have the elite receivers here, but many of the elite receivers in year's class are underclassmen." …

Photos from the first day of Senior Bowl practice.

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