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08/15/13Author: Justin Rogers - Mlive.com

Willie Young feels the game is slowing down for him

Willie Young feels the game is slowing down for him

ALLEN PARK -- After the Detroit Lions' 26-17 win over the New York Jets, Ndamukong Suh said he believes defensive end Willie Young has a better grasp on the mental aspects on the game.

Young delivered an impressive performance in the victory. He racked up three tackles, including one for a loss, knocked down one pass and tipped another that was nearly intercepted by safety Glover Quin.

Young also pressured Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez into an errant throw that was intercepted and returned 14 yards for a touchdown by rookie defensive end Ezekiel Ansah.

This isn't a new concept for Young. He put together a stellar preseason last year, but couldn't carry the momentum into the regular season. But there were signs against the Jets, particularly with the way he read and played the run, that suggest things could be coming together for the fourth-year defensive end.

"It's definitely slowed down a lot," Young said. "It is preseason, but guys are still flying around. Play recognition is definitely something that seems to be slowing down."

Young doesn't want to get carried away. He understands it was the preseason opener. He's focusing on building upon and maintaining his success through the rest of the preseason.

"As of now, I'm caught up with my plays," he said. "I have nothing left to do but to fly around. Nothing else matters."

Another difference this year is the way the Lions intend on using Young. Over the past two seasons, he primarily operated on the left side, backing up Cliff Avril. This season, Detroit is working him on both sides, potentially opening up a path for more consistent playing time.

Many defensive ends have a dominant side, where their pass rush moves are more effective, but Young says he feels comfortable rushing from either edge.

"I've got power moves on both sides," Young said. "Whether I'm at left or right, man, I'm still capable of making plays. I don't feel like I'm limited on one side more than the other. I'm looking forward to being able to go against some of the more premier tackles in the league, playing from the right side."

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