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Ron Rivera Presser: Chase Young is chomping at the bit to get back on the field

Ron Rivera speaks to the media after practice

Jacksonville Jaguars v Washington Commanders Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Ron Rivera announced that Chase Young has been cleared by his doctors, and he will play on Sunday when the team visits the Denver Broncos. He was a full participant in practice today, but Rivera said he would be on a “pitch count” for his first game back. Young hasn’t had full-speed, full contact since leaving the first preseason game with a self-reported stinger. Rivera is looking for consistency when Young returns to the field, and he said he has looked good since the offseason.

Injury report:

Chase Young:

Yes, very positive. A lot of good things throughout the week and there’s a lot of confidence. Obviously, we have to be smart because it is his first introduction to full contact, full speed contact, other than what he had in practice this week. He had a very good week. The young man has worked his tail off and I think he’s done the things that they’ve needed to see. That’s the real big positive for us going forward.

Expectations for Young:

We most certainly have to be aware and have a pitch count, obviously. The biggest thing more than thing else is the young man has just been terrific from day one in training camp, worked his tail off, had the unfortunate [injury] where we had to put him down for a little bit and then now he’s back up. He’s been working hard. He’s done everything he needs to. He’s been chomping at the bit, so we’re excited for his opportunity.

Plan throughout the week for Young:

That would be the biggest thing more than anything else is, I know the defensive coaches have talked about it this morning about what we can do and what we can’t do. We’ll see how it goes. Again, it’ll be something that they get together on and they talk about. What we’ve done the last few weeks is we’ve practiced him as if he was playing every week anyways.

What he’s looking for from Young:

I think right off the bat, just being consistent. It’s unfortunate because he had a really good camp, he had some really good practices against our offense as we were leading up to the opener in the preseason. So when we saw him, wow, and then the play if he doesn’t have the stinger, it’s a sack. There’s a lot of promise this year and really there is a lot of excitement. His mentality, his approach to everything has been just what you’re looking for. And I think a big part of it is he really does feel back from the knee situation more so than anything else.

Snap Count for Young:

Curtis Samuel’s injury:

We’ll see how he is. He’s had some general soreness and some tightness. Again, we just want to make sure he’s where he needs to be and he’s ready to roll.

High defensive standard:

I can tell you it is very evident during practice. If something’s wrong, they want to see it again so they can get it corrected now. They’re challenging each other. It’s one of those things that you want the players to understand is that they challenge each other. They hold each other accountable. That’s the first one of the real big steps that you take in trying to team build. That is guys understanding that it doesn’t have to always be from the coaches and it makes more impact when they’re the ones holding themselves accountable and they have the standard that they set. That to me has really been important and just knowing that and hearing that from our football team. That’s exciting.

Brian Robinson Jr. in his second season:

I think the progression, the growth, the learning, that’s been really good. He’s got a long ways to go, but he works at it. He works at it very hard. EB’s constantly on him. [Running Backs] Coach Jordan, Coach King, they’re constantly on him because they really think he can flourish in this offense if he can grasp it, do little detailed things, understand how important and the reason why to do a lot of these things. He’s got tremendous natural skills and again, it’s just finding his stride within what we do.

Focusing on having more explosive runs:

We think we can, again just got to hit the play the right way and continue to block and make the plays, make the blocks downfield as well. That’s where the explosives come when the next group of guys, whether it be the wide receivers, the tight ends, or the offensive line, get an extra block downfield that’s really where you see those explosive plays.

Timing of the game determines your chances of an explosive run:

It does because you’re grinding out, they know you’re grinding it out. There’s a lot more eight-man boxes, a lot more nine-man boxes. There’s a lot more commitment to stopping the running. Their focus is right there. But when you’re in the middle of the game, there’s a really good flow and you hit them in a two-man coverage where the DB’s have their backs to it, the safeties are a little bit deeper, and you hit that first crease. You’re up into the second level and what turned out to be probably a five or six-yard run, now it turns into a 15 to 20-yard run. That’s because that’s part of the flow of the game.

When you have balance, and that’s one thing that Coach Bieniemy talks a lot about to our guys, is we want the balance. We want to be able to always constantly keep that threat on them that, ‘Hey, we can run the ball, we can throw the ball. We can throw the ball in play action, we throw the ball off boot action, we can throw the ball on a drop back.’ But that keeps everything open in terms of, ‘Hey, we can run it, we can run something inside, we can bounce the ball and get something outside.’

Those things, the balance is what creates more opportunities, because now they’re trying to go on tendencies. They’re trying to go on down and distance and all of a sudden, they’re in a two shell and you hit ‘em with a quick hitting run, something off tackle, and he makes one guy miss and he’s into the secondary that quickly. So that’s kind of the flow in this kind of the balance that Eric talks about with our offense.

Struggling offenses around the league providing context on their performance:

Typically this is the way it usually is. The defenses tend to be a little bit ahead early in the year. And then as offenses get into shape, they kind of get in the form then you see it. We just kind of think there’s going to be a little bit of a growth period. It really is. But we do think though that with the playmakers around ‘em and the things that we do up front with our line, that we can have some success and we’ll see how it goes as we go forward.

Jeff Zgonina

Chase Young playing this week and what he means to the group:

Oh, I’m real excited to get him back out there. You know, anytime you get a good football player to play for you and help the team win games, you get excited.

High standards:

Well, as a group we focus on leading this team and all the teams I’ve played on, and if coached, you know, that’s how it’s been. The D-line, it’s always the front, you know, for the defense, it’s the D-line. We’re the first line. Same as the offensive line. They’re the first upfront. So, you know, as a group, most D-line rooms are more vocal, more loud so to speak. We have a great group of guys that are great leaders and like to talk and get the team going.

How Young has been for the last month:

He’s been good. He puts the work in the classroom and on the field and gets his workouts in his rehab and all that. And, you know, he is a pro. I mean, that’s what he does. He didn’t just sit around and watch. I mean, he put the work in.

How Young looked in training camp:

His explosiveness was back. He wasn’t thinking about anything. He was just playing. It was smooth. You know, he was the Chase of old.

Montez Sweat:

I mean, like any good player, great player, player that wants to be great, there’s always something that you have to work on and finishing was one of Tez’s things and he’s done a great job in the off season and in training camp to finish plays. I’m not saying he wasn’t finishing all the way, but no different than Daron Payne from two years ago. You know, his big thing was finish. He finished and had a big year and I will see that Tez will have the same explosion this year. You know because he’s putting the work in and he keeps working at it. [Assistant Defensive Line Coach Ryan Kerrigan] RK has been helping him to finish at the top of rush, to finish on certain plays and he’s doing a hell of a job doing it.

Backup defensive ends:

Any great team won’t be great until you have core players behind your starters and I’m fortunate to have a room of a lot of good football players from the top guy all the way down to the last guy, you know, in my room. They all can go in there and play and give quality snaps and give winning performances. So, it’s a blessing for me to know that a guy needs a blow, I can put James Casey, Dre or KJ and even when Efe comes back, you know, all those guys can play, you know what I’m saying? So, it’s great. You know, you don’t have a big drop off. I’m not sitting there going, oh God, here we go. I have no worries. Straight confidence in all the guys that back up at the end position.


Well, we always wanna be a unit that takes over a game, but as stats go, I don’t only give a rats about stats, just L’s and W’s. It’s all I care about are W’s and that’s what our group is all about. We wanna win games. Yes, it’s great to have stats, but stats mean nothing. You know what I’m saying? If you don’t have W’s, you are not playing in January and February and that’s what we want to do. So, would you rather have 26 sacks or a Super Bowl ring? I guarantee you ask everybody in my room, they want a ring over 26 sacks because you get a ring, they’ll take care of everything else.

KJ Henry:

He’s gonna be an asset for us moving forward. You know, he’s learning the system. He’s learning the way we play defensive end here and he’s fine as a rookie. I mean, he’s a rookie but he shows a lot of promise and he keeps working.

Chase Young

Ready to rock:

Week 2 return:

Being close to playing last week:

I mean, obviously I wanna play every game. Everybody wants to play every game. But you know, it’s all good. My time will come, so it’s time. Now it’s time to go play. So definitely, just blessed to be out there doing everything I need to do to prepare.

Being cleared based how he responded to contact in practice this week:

Yeah, really just time too. It was just time honestly. But yeah, I’m feeling good. Time to play.

Felt like he was in a good spot prior to the injury:

Yeah, definitely. Definitely. I haven’t stopped working. Every day I still was trying to perfect my craft and just keep my head down.

Snap count:

I mean, honestly I’m not even really worried about it. I’m gonna go out there and I’m just gonna play and whatever happens, happens.

How he can contribute:

Yeah, just trying to be the best Chase I can be, and that’s just doing my job and just trying to do my best to contribute.

Helping the younger defensive ends on the team:

Yeah, I mean any tips I can give, I give. Any questions that a rookie may ask me, I just try to embrace them with open arms. I just remind them just to be focused and keep your head down and keep going.

Montez Sweat’s big game:

Man, that’s my guy. We’ve been working in the offseason, so it definitely feels good to see what we worked on together come alive in the game.

Knee injury:

My knee? It’s not. I’m all good.

Recovering the last month:

I was cool. Things happen outside of your control. You just play football, you can’t really control if you get hurt, and things like that. So, I wasn’t really tripping too bad. I just knew my time was gonna come again. So, I just stayed focused and stayed consistent on what I had to do. And now we are here.


Yeah, man we definitely conditioned. You work out with Coach Johnson, he calls it, he’s gonna test your oil. We definitely got our oil tested. I wouldn’t say it’s on a totally different level, but I feel like we’re definitely in pretty good shape, good football shape. I mean, it’s just gonna help us be even more ready.