Keenan Allen is by far the most deserving candidate for Offensive Rookie of the Year through 16 weeks of the NFL season. How close did we come to missing out on his incredible rookie year? Michael Gehlken of UT San Diego quoted the first year player out of Cal as saying the following:
"'I need help. I'm losing. I'm about to quit,'" Allen recalled Wednesday in the locker room. "(I wasn't) living up to my expectations of starting. I've never been a role player-type guy. Not easy at all. ... I've never had to do it before. I never had to adjust." ...
"After I didn't play after that first game, I was about another snap away of not playing from quitting," Allen said.
Realistically speaking, Allen wasn't going to walk away from an NFL career after one more snap of not getting on the field. He was almost certainly engaging in a fair bit of hyperbole. That's what logic tells us. Keenan doesn't make it nearly so explicit. By his way of telling it, he was ready to go back to school to get his degree and try to become a music producer.
The fact that he had a backup plan in place if he left does give some more weight to the idea that he was serious. It seems unlikely, though, that the kind of guy who's so competitive he can't stand the idea of sitting on the bench one more play could possibly walk away from the challenge of working his way onto the field and proving that he should have been there all along. It's not impossible, though, and it has to raise some concerns about how he'll react to a tough stretch of games if you think he was ready to actually walk away once.
Let us know how this changes how you feel about Keenan Allen?