Will Allen enjoyed his initial tour of duty with the Steelers so much that he's back again for an encore this season. Better late than never.
"It feels good," Allen said. "That's the way it is. That's the way life is. That's the way this game is. I'm just excited to be back. Hopefully, we can win some more games and get in this playoff hunt."
Allen spent 2010 through 2012 with the Steelers but after his contract expired following the conclusion of last season he and the organization couldn't come to terms and he wound up in Dallas.
The Cowboys released Allen on Oct. 8. The Steelers re-signed him a day later.
"There were some talks, it really didn't work out," Allen said about offseason talks with the Steelers. "It is what it is, you know? But I'm back, so here I am."
MANY HAPPY RETURNS
Allen was credited by wide receiver/punt returner Antonio Brown for "doing a great job of challenging every guy in the punt-return game and taking it as a challenge to give me an opportunity to get in the open field," after Brown reeled off punt returns of 50 and 24 yards in the Steelers' 23-10 win over Buffalo.
Allen's take: "We're working together out there, having fun and trying to get our guy in the end zone. Every week we're one block away, five weeks in a row. That should be five touchdowns, that's how I look at it. We're stressing it really hard in practice. We talk about it during the week. We talk about it on Sundays. AB is extremely talented. He gets up the field fast, he has great vision, great escape-ability. If we can get him in the Pro Bowl again, that would be great. We both take it personally because we want to win. We want to score. We want to help this team win. We have a lot of fun out there together.
BEEN THERE, DONE THAT
Allen found himself playing safety as well as special teams against the Bills once rookie Shamarko Thomas went down in the second quarter with a high ankle sprain that will keep him out of this Sunday's game against Detroit.
Allen's take: "I've been here over a month now. Everything is coming back, and the way I'm supposed to fit into the defense is coming back. A little more fine-tuning would definitely help me out. Nothing's really changed. It's just a matter of really honing in on how you fit in the defense. That's what you have to build here."
BACK IN BLACK (AND GOLD)
Allen appeared in 46 games during his first go-around in Pittsburgh, making seven starts and contributing consistently on special teams.
He knew the way back and he knew what he was getting into upon his return.
Allen's take: "It's fun. It's exciting. It feels great. I love this place. I love being here. I love my teammates and I love the organization.
THE COWBOY WAY
Allen started at safety in two of the Cowboys' first five games this season and came away with an interception of Eli Manning in the regular-season opener.
Allen's take: "It didn't work out (with the Cowboys). They didn't want me there anymore, obviously, they let me go. They didn't think I was good enough and here I am in Pittsburgh. I'm enjoying the transition. I'm enjoying the move. I definitely feel like I can play. If I couldn't play I wouldn't be here. I wouldn't be in the league anymore."