Protecting Aaron Rodgers on the blindside from players like Jared Allen (mullet or no mullet) will be key to the Packers success in 2013.
Raymond T. Rivard photograph
In May of 2010 the sports world was shocked to hear that Jared Allen made the decision to cut off his mullet. Now, three years later, there has been an announcement on his twitter account that he is growing it back
He cut off the locks in advance of his wedding, thus meeting a key requirement for all long-term and healthy marriages. It is a well-known fact that I just made up that 80 percent of all failed marriages involve at least one mullet. This fabricated statistic is made even worse when one includes the mulletted gentlemen that lure women away from otherwise mulletless marriages.
Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen sacks Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Allen’s decision to cut the mullet was obviously made with the quality and longevity of his marriage in mind, though on the surface it appeared at the time to be a clear betrayal of self and team. After all, it was then feared that his numbers would decline under the theory that his strength was housed in his hair. Another theory suggested that Allen’s soul resided in his mullet, and that after his de-mulletting he would become a flesh eating monster, slogging through the upper Midwest with an insatiable hunger for human meat.
The latter theory proved to be at least partially untrue. But what of the former? Will Allen suddenly regain lost strength and speed with the cultivation of his back-head fur? And if so, what does this mean for the Packers in terms of strategy?
Fortunately, the Packers have already been shifting quality bodies over to Allen’s side of the line (this was announced in advance of the Allen declaration, suggesting that the Packers may have some good intelligence operatives in place over there, so keep that under your hat — loose lips sink ships, and stuff).
With McCarthy recently moving Brian Bulaga and Josh Sitton (the strength of the offensive line) over to cover Aaron Rodgers’s blindside, Rodgers should hopefully have a bit more time to unload the ball. It is also possible that if the Packers do place a bit more emphasis on the run game (as it now appears), or at least show more home run ability from the running back position, opportunities for pass rushing may decline on the Viking’s side of the ball.
Green Bay Packers tackle Bryan Bulaga. Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Is this enough to counter the Vikings’ strategy of growing out their hair?
I, for one, am too concerned about looking foolish and uninformed to hazard a guess. We will just have to wait and see.
For the record, and not that anyone should be surprised, Allen’s numbers average out pretty well with or without the mullet. During his Vikings years, he averaged 14.5 sacks a year with the mullet, and 15 without. He accounted for 38 percent of team sacks with the mullet, and 35 percent without. The team averaged 39.5 sacks per year with, and 41.7 without.
These differences are statistically insignificant. It turns out the hair does not make the man’s sack numbers. While we will have to wait and see about Allen regrowing his soul, from a performance standpoint (unfortunately) it will likely be the same old Jared Allen.
At least we can rest assured that the Packers current plan makes more sense than my suggestion: suiting up Marshal Newhouse in a pair of acid washed mom jeans (1987’s toughest jeans) to counteract 1987’s most powerful hairstyle.