Chargers’ Keenan Allen addresses drops like only a wide receiver can

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Twenty-four years ago, then-New York Jets receiver Keyshawn Johnson made headlines by releasing an autobiography entitled Just Give Me the Damn Ball! The Fast Times and Hard Knocks of an NFL Rookie. And NFL receivers have been following his lead ever since. The latest pass catcher to take a page from Keyshawn’s book is Chargers veteran Keenan Allen.

“I want the ball,” Allen told media members after Wednesday’s practice.

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Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen runs onto the field before an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, on Nov. 21, 2021, in Inglewood, Calif.

Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen runs onto the field before an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, on Nov. 21, 2021, in Inglewood, Calif.
(AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Allen was discussing the team’s penchant for dropping passes this season, though he wasn’t exempting himself. He knows he has struggled as well. He’s tied for second in the league with six drops.

Some have speculated that the high velocity on Herbert’s throws is the reason for the drops, but Allen wasn’t interested in making excuses.

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert throws a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021, in Inglewood, Calif.

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert throws a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021, in Inglewood, Calif.
(AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

“I’ve never been a fan of somebody saying that,” Allen commented. “You gotta catch the ball. If he throws it too hard, go out (to the practice field) and turn the Jugs machine up and get ready to catch the fastballs.”

Allen, who has 81 catches, two touchdowns and nearly 900 yards this season made it clear that a receiver’s job is to catch passes when targeted, regardless of the circumstances – or velocity.

Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen (13) looks for a call from the referee against the Denver Broncos during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021, in Denver.

Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen (13) looks for a call from the referee against the Denver Broncos during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021, in Denver.
(AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

“He throwing the ball to you, you better catch that s—,” said Allen. “I want the ball. Throw that motherf—er however you want to throw it.”

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In other words, just give him the damn ball.

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