Sometimes, when writing the History Book posts, I decide who I want to write about (with a little help from my friends, occasionally) and I get to work. However, like this week's Bear, it's not always that easy to find a ton of quality information. This time, I stuck to my original idea and found out as much as I could about a not-too-ancient Bear. Follow me after the jump to learn a little bit about the tight end, John Allred.
John Allred was born September 9th, 1974 in Encinitas, California. He attended Torrey Pines High School in Del Mar, California and then played football for the University of Southern California. At USC, he had 53 career catches, with 27 passes for 283 yards, 1 touchdown, and 10.5 yards per catch his senior year.
Allred was drafted in 1997 in round 2 (pick 38) by the Chicago Bears, who traded up two spots to take care of their tight end need. His 6'4, 249 lb frame made him a promising NFL tight end. He was a "two-for-one" deal, a long snapper as well as a tight end. However, he was only the backup long snapper at USC, and while he practiced, he was never needed in a game.
Allred played for the Chicago Bears from 1997 to 2000. In 1997, Allred was awarded the Brian Piccolo award in 1997, along with Van Hiles (S) and Ryan Wetnight (TE). He scored his first touchdown, a 1 yarder from Shane Matthews, during the week one, 20-17 win over the Chiefs in 1999.
While I usually prefer to spotlight the positive about the player I'm looking at, I couldn't help but share this snippet (It's all over!): John Allred's brother-in-law, John Lynch, was voted #10 of NFL Network's Top Ten Feared Tacklers. Allred unfortunately found this out the hard way. The two had grown up together and were best friends, but Lynch held nothing back when Allred caught a pass against the Buccaneers and WHAM! Lynch not only tackled him, but literally knocked him out. Lynch then brushed himself off, and walked back to his spot. (Herm Edwards joked that he bet his wife [Allred's sister] was not going to be happy!)
Skip to :30 if you want to cut straight to Allred's appearance... ouch. And listen to Herm Edwards joking about the aftermath with his wife (Allred's sister).
He was knocked out for the season due to a knee injury (anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments, to be specific) in the third quarter of the Bears-Saints game on October 8th, 2000, thus marking the end of his time with the Bears. With the Bears, he had started 4 games in 1997, 5 games in 1999, and had 9 receptions for 109 yards in 2000 before his injury.
He then signed a one year, $525,000 contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers for 2002. Coach Bill Cowher had been impressed with his progress and Allred himself came back announcing he was 100% healthy. He was to be the backup tight end and long snapper. However, calf injuries kept him out often at the beginning of the season and a concussion in Week 14 of the season kept him out for most of the latter.
Allred is currently 36 years old and is the receiver coach at San Clemente High School. He is also involved in commercial real estate and is still a huge USC Trojans fan. He also owns a surf shop"Toes on the Nose" in Laguna Beach, California. *Note: I tried to research the high school, surf shop, and real estate, but was unable to find John. This does not mean he is not affiliated with these, because I saw them listed in multiple places; however, I wanted you, the reader, to proceed with caution. :]
My ending question for you, Bears fans: Would you consider Allred a bust? His stats aren't the greatest, and he was injured most of the seasons... but he was a high draft pick and was successful at the beginning. Thoughts?
Any other players you'd like to see on Taking a Look in the Bears History Book?
Send me an email and let me know!