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Willie Young keys solid defense for Bears

Bears defensive end Willie Young  has been the driving force for a much improved Bears defense so far in 2014.

After a three tackle and two sack performance Sunday against the Falcons, he has collected seven sacks which already tie last year’s team high.

For a player who’s only had three career sacks heading into this year, Young’s fast success as a Bear had been relatively unforeseen by many fans. As a former seventh round selection, Young spent three quiet seasons in Detroit before he was signed by the Bears in March.

He was initially signed to provide depth behind fellow defensive ends Lamarr Houston and Jared Allen. However, as the season progressed, his play has demanded more snaps and he’s given the defense a boost in the process.

In addition to seven sacks, Young also amassed 24 tackles and a forced fumble so far this season.

His solid play has given defensive coordinator Mel Tucker the flexibility to explore moving Houston inside to defensive tackle on occasion to provide more help against the run if necessary.

Defensive tackles Ego Ferguson and Stephen Paea are also reaping the benefits of great defensive end play. Both have have picked up three sacks this year, due in part to the growing concern by many offenses to contain both Young and Allen at the end positions.

Entering week seven, the Bears are also ranked tenth in the NFL against the run. This puts them on pace to be a great deal better than their last place (32nd) ranking from just a year ago.

Chicago’s new and improved front line will see one of their toughest assignments this season versus the Miami Dolphins who are currently seventh in rushing offense.

 

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