Chase Young was not at day one of the Washington Commanders’ OTAs on Tuesday. The defensive end, who had is fifth-year option declined earlier this offseason and will be a free agent after this season, did not attend the voluntary workouts. But that doesn't mean his absence went without notice.
"This is not good," Craig Hoffman said. "Here's what I will say before I jump into the reasons why this is not good. This is day one of voluntary OTAs, he is not required to show up, he is not being insubordinate. Also, if he shows up tomorrow and doesn't miss another practice, today doesn't matter... However, this is very stupid that he is not here."
"Here's why: Chase Young is somebody who needs to become a better football player," Hoffman continued. "This isn't about optics, this isn't about trust, this isn't about proving anything to anyone. This is about whether or not Chase Young is giving himself the best chance to be the guy that they re-sign next offseason. Chase Young is a free agent after this season. Chase Young has not lived up to the hype. Chase Young has not produced anything meaningful in the last couple of years, I thought he was very solid when he came back last year, clearly not himself but he did a good job, assignment sound, disciplined... did a lot of good things that you would hope that are kinda standard if he's Chase Young... but he did OK in those three games by regular NFL stands not by Chase Young wants to be a superstar standards."
Of course, Hoffman admits, if Young has an incredible season, none of this matters.
"However, the reason this is a problem," he said. "Is that Chase Young needs reps. Chase Young is a young football player. he is an extremely inexperienced football player. He played three years at Ohio State, where he was the best athlete on the field and used that to be dominant... He came in as a rookie and he was good, but playing NFL football... is really, really hard. These are the best players on the planet. They're all super freak athletes. They're all very smart. And most of them work extremely hard. But working hard is not good enough. You have to work on the right things."
Young's mental ability and his on-field ability – which is also dependent upon experience on the practice field and experience with other teammates and game time – is only improved by showing up and getting on the same page of his teammates. "And Chase Young who wants to be a leader, you don't lead when you're not there," Hoffman added. "You have to play within a scheme that you will be able to execute better if you practice. This is your chance to practice. You are missing it. You are not good enough and do not have enough reps under your belt in the NFL to be missing opportunities to get better."
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