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August 7, 2018

Zach Allen

Boston, Massachusetts

Q. In the process of thinking to return, did you think about your draft stock at all?
ZACH ALLEN: Yeah, you hear a lot of different things like that. At the end of the day you have to do what's best for your personally. You have to come with your values and priorities. For me, it was kind of the relationships here. You only really have them once in your life. The NFL will still be there next year.

Also we have a really exciting team come back. You want to be a part of that.

Q. Did you consult with anyone else or Harold?
ZACH ALLEN: Harold was very helpful with the decision just because he went through it. Seeing how he did it, also talking to him about it. Then also the coaches here. My family were huge also. My teammates, too. I had a lot of good people in my corner that helped me make the best decision.

Q. From a team perspective, you know the expectations for this year are greater. As those expectations continue to grow, how does it help to focus the intensity and understanding between players and coaches it's time to take the next step?
ZACH ALLEN: I think camp hits you you're in the fire now. I think the thing we've done a really good job of this off-season, even though we've had all these, for the first time in a while, positive press and expectations, we've done a really good job of staying true to we're a team that's a blue-collar team that's going to come in and work. We have a certain criteria that we have to accomplish before we can even expect anything. I think we've done a really good job blocking out the noise, just focusing on what we can control.

I think we're continuing that in camp. First couple days we've had some really successful days. We're just looking to keep building on it throughout the next 20 practices or so.

Q. Who are some defensive ends you look up to? Who is the favorite quarterback you've ever sacked?
ZACH ALLEN: Obviously J.J. Watt is at the top of it. This off-season I've definitely been watching a lot of NFL tape to try to learn from things like that. Definitely Calais Campbell, Von Miller are two studs. Inside, Aaron Donald, Adrian Clayborn. A lot of great players.

The favorite quarterback I've ever sacked? Trying to remember which the quarterbacks were. You forget. Honestly I think the cooler ones are the dual-threat quarterbacks because they're harder to catch, they run well. I'd probably (indiscernible).

Q. Sometimes you get nuances of the guys you face. Not taking them to the ground most of the time. What are you seeing from your offensive line, Anthony, AJ?
ZACH ALLEN: I mean, start with the offensive line. Just going against them, you're not going to face a better offensive line. They help us tremendously from a physicality and speed of the game, really don't face anything like it. They're absolutely tremendous. They also have so much depth, you can rotate in seven, eight different guys.

With AJ, there's not a bigger back, more explosive back in the country. Dealing with that, you really have to be on point every play or he's going to make you look silly.

Across all three levels of the defense, he helps us all. Then finally with QB1, he can throw it, run it, do it all, too. Having all these weapons on offense only helps us. I think that really showed at the end of the season last year when they kind of hit their stride. Our practices became tougher than the games. That's when we realized success.

Q. (Question about number of tackles this year.)
ZACH ALLEN: Wyatt, a hell of a player. When Harold went down last year for the last five games, whatever it was, nothing really changed on our defense. He really can do everything that Harold can do. It's really exciting to see what he can do this year. He's already making crazy plays in camp. Really excited to see what he can do. I really don't think anything too much will change. Everybody will be able to produce.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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