Football Team

Chase Young feels he's 'real close' to breakout game

Football Team

Chase Young's 2021 season has not started the way he hoped.

The 22-year-old pass rusher, who entered the year with the fourth-best odds to win NFL Defensive Player of the Year, hasn't registered a sack through Washington's first three games. He's been at the forefront of a defense that hasn't yet met preseason expectations.

While the first three weeks have been up to Young's standard, the reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year feels that he's close to having a true breakout performance.

"I'm real close," Young said Thursday.

While Young has not been at his best to begin the 2021 season, he's far from the only one on the defensive side of the ball. Washington's defensive front -- one that features four former first-rounders -- has registered just five sacks through three weeks, with none coming this past Sunday in a blowout loss to Buffalo.

A lack of communication is something Young, his teammates and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio have all harped on when asked about what needs to improve. Young expanded a bit more on that Thursday, saying the group needs to be "more specific" when communicating with one another, both on and off the field.

Once Washington's defense does fix those communication issues, Young believes the group still has the potential to play sound football.

"Just playing together. That's all it is. I feel like if we play together, it's going to come together," Young said. "There's been times, [Montez] will be a second from the sack and it might be a busted coverage. Or we're not getting enough pressure and the corners, they've been covering too long. I feel like that situation, if we can get that intact, we'll be straight."

 

Del Rio was also asked about communication issues on Thursday, something the defensive coordinator took on responsibility himself.

"Any of those types of things are my responsibility to make better. I'll clean that up," Del Rio said.

Both Del Rio and Young have heard the outside noise and criticism of the unit. It's warranted, after all, especially considering the lofty expectations the group had of itself entering the season.

With still over three-quarters of the season remaining, Young is confident in his and his unit's ability to turn it around.

"One thing we won't do is stop. We're going to keep pushing" Young said. "I ain't putting no pressure on myself. The season's young. I'm going to be where my feet at."

Earlier this week, Young said "something has to change" with Washington's defense in order for the unit to reach its potential. The pass rusher echoed similar thoughts on Thursday, too.

"We gotta tighten up. There's no room for error. We just gotta go," Young said. "We can't look back, lack on the [loss]. You're going to take your [losses]. Right now, we're just moving forward."

That starts this week in Atlanta, a golden opportunity for Washington's defense to turn its season around. The Falcons offense has looked abysmal to begin the season, something the Burgundy and Gold hope continues this Sunday. 

While overall improvement is what Young and Washington's defense is striving for this week, the pass rusher is only concerned about one thing when entering Mercedes Benz Stadium on Sunday.

"The only thing I'm focused on is a win," Young said.