We had so much fun doing our Countdown to Kickoff series last season that we decided to do it again. If case you’re new to the series, we’ll do a roster preview as we count down the days until the Chicago Bears September 7th season opener against the Buffalo Bills.
Next up in the Countdown to Kickoff series is #97 (which he switched from #79) defensive end Willie Young. Young was recently signed by the Bears away from rival Detroit to a 3 year/$9 million deal. Young was drafted out of NC State in 2010 and is a 5 year veteran.
Big Willie doesn’t have impressive stats in his career (72 tackles 6 sacks 2 fumble recoveries 7 passes defended) but what he does have is size, speed, youth and experience. He has played as a reserve the first four years of his career and moved into a starting roll last year. The talented DE has played more and has grown as a player each year in the league. The 6′ 4″ 251 lbs Young has a reputation for coming off the edge with a vengeance and being an extremely disruptive force when tasked with rushing the passer.
Historically the Bears have rotated their defensive lineman throughout each game to keep each fresh. Adding Young to the mix with also recently acquired Lamaar Houston and Jared Allen should prove to be quite effective having three capable and starting caliber defensive ends. Bringing in Young and Allen to play end allows the Bears to slide Houston inside where he is considered by some to be a better fit. However Mel Tucker and the rest of the Bears coaching staff chooses to employ their new toys remains to be seen but it should be fun to watch.
Bears GM Phil Emery knows how to scout players and did a fantastic job retooling the offensive line last year. Let’s hope he can do the same thing with the defensive line and the rest of the defense this year.
Be on the lookout for our Countdown to Kickoff series as we continue to work our way to the season opener on September 7th.