Bears

Willie Young to Bears: 'I would like to finish my career up here in Chicago'

Willie Young to Bears: 'I would like to finish my career up here in Chicago'

This time a year ago Willie Young was coming off a career season marked by a team-best 10 sacks. But he was also coming off a season-ending achilles injury and into a defensive scheme unlike what he’d played previously in either Detroit or Chicago.

He played his way back into increasingly better health, and eventually finished the season with 6.5 sacks — second only to linebacker Lamarr Houston.

"Luckily, guys like Lamar and Willie kind of picked up and healed up as we went," head coach John Fox said during this year's owners meetings.

But Young also saw longtime defensive end Jared Allen traded away early in the season from an ill-fitting job at 3-4 outside linebacker to a 4-3 Carolina Panthers Super Bowl team. Musings around the NFL were that Young also wanted to be in a familiar system that used him as a pass-rushing end rather than the 3-4 role that involved the alien act of dropping into pass coverage — going in the literal opposite direction from which Young had built his career.

Young shot down those rumors. “Never did I want to be out of Chicago,” he said Wednesday.

And he may not be anytime soon. What has transpired has been another form of opposite direction, with the Bears expressing interest in adding time to Young’s contract — which expires after this season.

Young has made his thoughts clear: “I would like to be here long-term, absolutely. I would like to finish my career up here in Chicago.”

Whether that happens is in the hands of Young’s agent and the Bears organization. Young last season playfully refused to acknowledge even the suggestion that he was a linebacker, but now even brings up pass defense as something he actually plans to stress.

“I really feel like I showed them I could play the run and rush the quarterback last year,” Young said. “Now I’ll be a lot more emphasis on my personal goals; a lot more emphasis on showing them that I can actually cover, too. Whatever’s going to help me out in the long run and help this team out, I’m all about it.”

 

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Eddy Pineiro wins the Bears kicker battle, but the war is far from over

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Eddy Pineiro wins the Bears kicker battle, but the war is far from over

Chris Bleck, Sam Panayotovich and Jay Cohen join David Kaplan on the panel.

0:00- Eddy Pineiro wins the Bears kicker battle, but the war is far from over. Will he still be the kicker for Week 1?

6:00- Pro Football Focus says Mitch Trubisky is the 26th-best QB entering the season. Kap would like a word.

9:30- The guy discuss the Bears's punishment to Kyle Long for his practice fights and look back at life and career of Cedric Benson.

16:00- A trip to the Little League World Series did wonders for the Cubs. So after winning the last two on their road trip, are they back?

20:00- Jose Quintana has been on fire of late. Is he the Cubs' ace?

24:00- Eloy Jimenez leads AL rookies in home runs. With Vlad Jr. out, can he win the rookie of the year? Plus the guys discuss Dylan Cease's struggles and another big weekend for Luis Robert in Charlotte.

Listen to the full episode in the embedded player below:

Sports Talk Live Podcast

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PFF ranks Mitchell Trubisky as 26th best quarterback entering 2019

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USA Today

PFF ranks Mitchell Trubisky as 26th best quarterback entering 2019

No one denies that Mitchell Trubisky needs to continue developing as a quarterback to take the Bears to the next level.

What’s up for debate is how much he needs to improve, and the question will linger well into the 2019 season.

Pro Football Focus ranked all 32 quarterbacks entering the regular season, and they see the Bears quarterback with a lot of work to do.

Trubisky came in 26th, part of analyst Steve Palazzolo’s “Tier 4” of quarterbacks.

“There’s a disconnect between Trubisky’s statistical output and his throw-by-throw performance last season,” Palazzolo wrote. “In order to take the next step, Trubisky must improve his accuracy at 10-plus yards down the field and lower his percentage of uncatchable passes that ranked 31st out of 35 qualifiers.”

PFF did highlight his NFL-best rushing grade among quarterbacks and the value added from Matt Nagy’s offensive system.

But their snap-by-snap grading shows Trubisky needs to be more consistent with this throws, which Palazzolo believes is crucial for the Bears to sustain their success.