The Chicago Bears spent a good portion of the offseason overhauling their defensive line, which was ravaged with injuries in 2013. As a result of having a thin defensive front, the Bears allowed 161.4 rushing yards per game, and only tallied 31 sacks from their inconsistent pass rush (both last in the NFL).
To fix the problem, Chicago signed premier defensive ends Jared Allen and Lamarr Houston, re-signed defensive tackles Jeremiah Ratliff and Nate Collins, and drafted interior linemen Ego Ferguson and Will Sutton. To top off their rotation of D-linemen for 2014, the Bears also signed former Detroit Lions defensive end Willie Young.
It’s safe to say that Allen and Houston will be the starting defensive ends, so obviously, Young’s role will be to come in for relief in order to keep fresh bodies on the defensive line. He’ll definitely get enough playing time and won’t have to worry too much about anyone breathing down his neck during training camp, since the Bears recently released long-time veteran defensive end Israel Idonije.
In addition, Young, who was a full-time starter for the Lions last season, is a good defender on the edge against the run, something Chicago’s defense definitely needs.
In the event that the defensive line is bitten by the injury bug again in 2014, Young should be able to step in to fill the void. All in all, the fifth-year veteran should be a very important part of the rotation on the defensive front, and a strong presence in stopping the run for the Monsters of the Midway.