NBC Sports cousin Mike Florio over Pro Football Talk reported Sunday night that defensive end Willie Young wants to be traded, and a mild surprise will be if the Bears don’t accommodate him in some form.
Jared Allen didn’t agitate for a trade so much as have a candid talk with the organization that he didn’t feel like his play at rush linebacker was really working, and the Bears dealt him to Carolina. Young has acknowledged that he still doesn’t “feel” like a linebacker, and he hasn’t played like one, at least not the kind that coach John Fox and coordinator Vic Fangio need. Young played 18 snaps on Sunday and did not register on the initial stat sheet with a quarterback hit, assisted tackle, anything.
Young was a healthy inactive for the Seattle game. He played 19 snaps vs. Arizona and netted one tackle, no quarterback hits or pressures. Same against Green Bay. Young doesn’t contribute on special teams and hasn’t in pass rush, so...
Keeping it close at the break
Games are not won with first-half stats or scores but they can be lost in first halves, and the Bears for the fourth time this season went in at halftime within one score of an opponent: leading Green Bay by three and Oakland by two, and trailing Arizona by eight and Seattle by six.
By way of context: The Bears led at halftime just four times all last season and went in trailing 10 times.
(Some) clarity upfront
The play of the Bears’ offensive line on Sunday merits another huge attaboy, all across the front five, which was more than just “five.”
Oakland got sacks from their elite three pass rushers – Khalil Mack, Justin Tuck, Aldon Smith – but the Raiders had just four quarterback hits in a game that saw the Bears call 47 pass plays.
Kyle Long was dominant at right tackle (for now: as John Fox said last week, “I can’t predict what’s going to happen down the road”); Vladimir Ducasse had one false start (a holding penalty on third-and-10 was declined); Matt Slauson moving over to center after Will Montgomery suffered the broken leg and was excellent, the mishandled snap notwithstanding; Patrick Omameh was strong stepping in at left guard; and Charles Leno, who was in no way overwhelmed by the moment of his first start at tackle, had one holding penalty but won against Mack and Smith.
How the Bears move forward at center – Slauson or rookie Hroniss Grasu – may not be clear until next Sunday in Kansas City. But base on Sunday, their starting points at multiple positions are as good as any in recent seasons.