"On warmups, pay special attention to your hamstrings and groins. If you can't touch the ground with your knees stiff, you aren't ready....
"I want this year to be 14 and 0. This is your team goal. Think about this all year. I may never mention it again...."
And finally, in his only real appeal to emotion, he said earnestly, "It's a tough crowd here in Los Angeles. The people come from all over the country. But I want them to get so excited about the Rams they have to stand up and applaud. How many times have you seen people standing up and applauding? That's reserved for generals and kings."
Obviously the message had its effect, for the Rams went out and beat Dallas. They also won their first 11 regular-season games before the slump set in that cost them a trip to the Super Bowl.
Not long ago Allen was asked what he thought when he considered his uncertain future. Right away he got that faraway look. "I can't let it affect my work," he finally said. "All I can do is try to win and get to the Super Bowl and win that, and whatever happens beyond that is not in my control.
"Sometimes I'll walk along the beach and pick up rocks and throw them in the ocean. If one is tucked into the sand and bigger than I thought, I just won't leave it there and keep walking. I'll dig it out. I won't let that rock defeat me. The same thing applies to my job.
"Everybody has problems. The person without problems is dead."