Jared Allen couldn’t possibly mean more to this organization than he did at the end of the 2011 season, right?

Wrong.

The Vikings say they are excited about using Allen not only as a veteran mentor, but as the fiercest of practice dummies, with hopes that Matt Kalil will get better quicker by having to face Allen every day in practice.

“One of the good things about Matt coming to our team is he’ll get a chance to face arguably the best defensive end in the National Football League day in and day out in practice,” Leslie Frazier said on Thursday. “That’s going to be a great part of his prep in getting him prepared for what he’s going to see on Sunday afternoons.”

Rick Spielman also acknowledged that Allen’s presence on the practice field should only make Kalil better prepared, and Kalil himself sounds ready for the task.

“The competitor I am, I know that Jared will help make me a great player. Especially the division the Vikings are in – with the Chicago Bears and going against Julius Peppers plus my old teammate, Clay Matthews, going against him in Green Bay. It’s definitely a league of great pass rushers and great defensive ends. So it’s going to be good going against the greatest defensive end in the NFL in Jared Allen. I’m very excited for that.”