May 27 (UPI) -- Weight has literally been lifted from the Houston Texans' offensive line this year.
"I feel good; I lost a few pounds," Allen told the Chronicle. "I think it will be beneficial for me this season. I've done a lot of hard work, a lot of cardio. I changed my diet. I'm eating a little cleaner. I have a better understanding of what I need from my body.
Allen, 27, played the first four years of his career for the Kansas City Chiefs. He was heavily pursued by the Chicago Bears and Atlanta Falcons during the 2016 offseason before landing a five-year, $28 million pact with the Texans. Allen had two concussions and had offseason ankle surgery in 2016. He ranked as Pro Football Focus' No. 72 guard out of 77 qualifiers. He started 14 games last season.
In those starts, he played 498 pass blocking snaps, giving up 27 quarterback pressures and five sacks, according to Pro Football Focus.
Jeff Allen is looking to get back to the 2015 form that saw the Houston Texans sign him, which would be a big boost to the Texans in 2017 pic.twitter.com/teWU5p59op— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) May 27, 2017
"He's a very intelligent guy, that's something that I really like," Texans coach Bill O'Brien told the team website last season. "He's very bright and he's tough. He understands how important communication is and obviously bringing that toughness to the practice field and to the game field every week."
In early May, the Texans' website reported that 2016 second round pick Nick Martin could challenge Greg Mancz, Xavier Su'a-Filo or Allen for a spot on the offensive line.
Houston ranked in the middle-of-the-pack in sacks allowed last season among AFC teams.