Chase Young isn’t concerned with outside criticism

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Washington defensive end Chase Young burst on the scene as a rookie in 2020 with 7.5 sacks en route to winning the NFL defensive rookie of the year award.

Now, eight games into his second NFL season, Young has just 1.5 sacks on the season, and Washington sits last in the NFC East with a 2-6 record.

A big reason for Washington’s poor record this season is the defense. While many expected the WFT defense to be among the NFL’s best, that has been far from the case. Washington ranks No. 29 in scoring defense, allowing opponents to score over 28 points per game.

You can’t point to one player or group for Washington’s defensive struggles. It’s across the board. However, many believe the vaunted defensive line, featuring four former first-round picks, should be playing better. And that includes Young.

During Washington’s bye week, head coach Ron Rivera admitted he would like to see more from Young and fellow defensive end Montez Sweat.

On Thursday, Young met with the media after practice and said he could take the criticism because he believes things will turn around for him — and soon.

“I’m a man at the end of the day. I can take the criticism,” Young said via Nicki Jhabvala of The Washington Post. “It’s a process. Everybody will talk. Just wait until down the road. Just keep watching.”

Young, who is one of Washington’s team captains, missed all of the voluntary portions of Washington’s OTAs in the spring as he was shooting commercials for different companies. He spoke about that and offered no apologies.

“I was making money, baby. Got to make that money,” Young said. “None of y’all would’ve ducked the money. At the end of the day, it’s a job. You feel me? Just like y’all do your job, I do my job.”

Hmmm.

That’s probably not the response Washington fans, or Rivera would like to hear. Young said nothing wrong, but most would like to hear that Young says he knows he can be better — and should be better. And he should be better.

It’s difficult for anyone to criticize players for skipping voluntary portions of the offseason. However, it was telling he was the only player to miss all of the voluntary work — especially since he is a captain.

Washington needs more from Young. In 23 career games, Young has 9 sacks. In comparison, Von Miller — the No. 2 overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft — had 11 sacks in his first season. How did he perform in his second year? Miller recorded 18.5 sacks in his second season.

Young still has a long way to go, but he has the talent to become an elite player. As of now, he’s far from an elite player.