Chase Young is at Commanders minicamp and had a good day 1 – and when our guy Pete Hailey joined the Junkies to talk about it Wednesday morning, well, remember that perception is sometimes reality.
“Chase always looks great – he’s freakishly huge and jacked and has this aura about him, which to me is why he’s hard to quit,” Hailey said. “But, the numbers tell you that Chase Young right now is an average football player and has not done much to justify the hype, but because of where he was drafted and the physicality he has, you’re always going to be drawn to him.”
Hailey gave “everybody’s favorite disclaimer” that it’s just minicamp, so take his strong Day 1 of minicamp with a grain of salt – but one thing that isn’t just a June mirage, it seems, was the fact that Young was a little more terse with the media than usual.
“He wasn’t in a combative mood, but his pressers have taken a turn where he’s just not as fun to be around, and a little more short with his answers – and I think yesterday, he was a bit more defensive because he knew there would be a lot of questions of why he wasn’t around,” Hailey said. “It’s a shame because as a rookie, he was so charismatic and was the ‘it’ guy on that team, but it hasn’t been that way since. Like a lot of players, his mood fluctuates based on how he plays and the media treats him, but he was there and did talk.”
The media will get to talk to Montez Sweat and Charles Leno Jr. this week as well, and “we can finally put all this behind us,” but a Hailey said…talk is cheap, it’s now about performance for Young.
“He said his knee feels fine and he has no limitations, which there shouldn’t be based on this timeline, and he’s ready to use some of this as motivation; he said he wasn’t upset by the fifth-year option not being picked up, but I bet he was, and it’s in everyone’s best interest for 99 to be as good as he was as a rookie,” Hailey said. “I know some people don’t think this is a big deal, but I think it’s a big deal he didn’t show up to OTAs. He needs to be all in and it doesn’t seem like it is, so hopefully that doesn’t bleed into the regular season and affect his performance.”
The question that Cakes raised, at least, is why, at this point in the calendar, even with everything going on, the Commanders are reportedly listening to trade offers on Young?
“I cannot give you any explanation to why he would; maybe during the Draft when he could get a current pick, but now that the draft is over, there’s no point,” Hailey said. “These players, you may not be able to keep them long-term, and it’s always about the big picture, but in this situation, the resources in return would be so meager, and with Chase’s potential, it’s still pretty reputable and worth it to hold on and hope he can deliver. Even if he’s only six or seven sacks and not impactful much anywhere else, that’s still better than what they could get for him.”
But what could happen if Young starts off slowly in September?
“I could see Chase…not that he’s a malcontent, but there’s definitely a disconnect between him and Ron Rivera,” Hailey said. “They haven’t exactly been like ‘it’s totally fine’ that Chase missed OTAs, and it’s not the cheeriest relationship between player and team. If wins come, everything becomes happy, but if there is a struggle and other linemen are flourishing, that could become ugly, and it might be in Ron’s best interest to cut bait at that point.”
Listen to Hailey’s entire hit with the Junkies above, which includes some chat on the QB situation and the rookies' performance so far!