Second year player and reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year Chase Young wasn’t at either of the two voluntary OTA sessions in late May or early June, and that raised a lot of comment and speculation among some fans. While a number of Washington players missed one or more days, including, for example, new left tackle Charles Leno whose wife had just given birth, Chase Young was the only Washington player that missed all the OTA sessions.
Given that the sessions are voluntary, that’s no problem as far as the head coach Ron Rivera is concerned. Both Rivera and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio said repeatedly that, while they were very pleased that most players chose to attend the OTA sessions (Washington had at least 87 players at every OTA session), they had no concerns about Chase Young’s absence, and that they were confident that he would be at the mandatory minicamp that begins today.
Well, they were right. Chase Young was present for the also-mandatory media day on Monday, and he recorded a message for the Washington faithful:
“This is Chase Young checkin’ in; got the jersey on, suited ‘n booted. Y’all know what time it is...”
Young had a fantastic rookie season. It seemed like it would be nearly impossible for Chase Young to live up to the incredible expectations that were placed on him last year when he was drafted, but he managed to do it.
The rookie defensive end recorded 7.5 sacks and 12.5 tackles for loss. He defended 4 passes, forced 4 fumbles, and recovered 3 fumbles, returning one of them for a touchdown. He did all this while often drawing double-teams from the opposing offense.
As mentioned, he also won defensive rookie of the year, and his raw stats were pretty impressive, but it was his infectious energy, his clear support for teammates on defense, offense and special teams, and his leadership that got him voted to captain by his teammates in his rookie season that may have really stood out.
Any concerns about Chase Young missing a few days of Spring practice seem ill-founded. In any event, he is in the building this week, and seems to be ready to help his team make a push for its second consecutive NFC East division title.
Minicamp will run for three days, from Tuesday to Thursday, then the players will be off (though obviously working out individually) until Training Camp starts in the final week of July. Washington’s regular season kicks off on Sunday September 12th at home against the Los Angeles Chargers.