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Broncos DE Zach Allen learning from former teammate J.J. Watt, looking to 'prove' big contract

After spending four seasons in Arizona, new Broncos defensive end Zach Allen is starting a new chapter in the Mile High City.

This offseason, Allen signed a three-year, $45.75 million contract to come to Denver. Allen is aware that there will be higher expectations with his new team.

"It definitely was a brand new kind of experience but it worked out well for everybody involved," Allen said this week at the club's organized team activities, via The Denver Gazette’s Chris Tomasson. "It's my time to prove it.''

Allen, 25, is coming off his best year yet in 2022. He set career highs in sacks (5.5), tackles for loss (10) and QB hits (20).

One of the reasons for Allen's success in the previous season was his collaboration with recently-retired three-time Defensive Player of the Year, J.J. Watt. Allen was selected by the Cardinals in the third round in the 2019 draft and had only started in eight games across his first two seasons. However, with Arizona's addition of Watt in 2021, Allen's development was noticeable with the veteran by his side. Allen discussed the impact that Watt has had on his growth, both on and off the field.

"I can really only speak highly about him,'' Allen said. "I think I was able to learn from him, obviously, and I'm very fortunate for that. I think last year, it was a really good opportunity. We had great on-field and off-field chemistry and I'm still picking his brain for ideas. He's helping me pick furniture right now for my new house."

Allen is not the only former Cardinal to be moving to Denver this offseason. Vance Joseph, the former defensive coordinator for Arizona, joined Sean Payton's staff in the same role. Due to their previous working relationship, Allen found it easier to sign with the Broncos, knowing that Joseph would be joining him on the sidelines.

"(That) definitely was a big part,'' Allen said. "I think Vance is one of the best coaches in the NFL and I was really fortunate to be with him for four years and, if you have a chance to make it five, six, seven, then you're going to do that. So really I'm a believer in his stuff and his coaching style and at this point he's just a really good friend.''

Denver will hope Allen and Joseph's strong relationship will continue to develop heading into training camp and the season beyond that.

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