The 2014 season wasn't what Cortez Allen had hoped for, especially after signing a five-year contract before the season that has him in black and gold through the 2018 season.
He began the season as one of the team's top corners, but after struggling was used only in the nickel defense and eventually didn't see playing time on defense. He was placed on injured reserve with a thumb injury in December, bringing his season to an end.
Allen opened up and shared thoughts on the 2014 season and what he needs to work on for 2015.
The best photos of CB Cortez Allen from the 2014 season.
On being injured and not being on the field with teammates:**
"It's tough not being able to fight with the guys on the field. It's part of the game, something you deal with as a player. We have such a bond you want to do everything for them and you aren't able to. That's the part that hurts. That's the expectation, the void you want to fill as far as being able to do whatever you can for those guys. That's what's important to me.
"It's something you deal with as a man in life, as far as adverse situations. All I can do now is just keep positive and go back to work and continue to build in that area."
On how much the other defensive backs helped him during his struggles and injuries:
"They are my backbone. My brothers. They are just like family. I have two older brothers and just like they would give me advice and encourage me, that's what we do for each other. It's a very honest, close room. The thing that makes us closest is we are honest with each other, look out for each other and have each other's backs. Whether I am up or down they are there for me and that's what makes it special."
On the potential of changes in the secondary if some teammates aren't back in 2015:**
"It's something we hate to think about, but something you understand is a part of the game we play. We are such a close group in the defensive backs meeting room. We genuinely love each other. It's more than football to us. We build each other up."
On what he needs to work on for 2015:
"Just finishing. I think work on my finishing. I was close on a lot of plays in the course of the season. There are little things here and there I can work on, but mostly the finishing. That you are that close and come up short, absolutely it's the most frustrating. It's something that can be fixed and something I will fix and look forward to working at this offseason."
On his current focus:
"Get healthy, stay healthy, and find ways to do that. I want to evaluate myself, check the film, talk to the coaches and go from there. Mostly get healthy."