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09/19/14

Young looks to catch quarterbacks

Young looks to catch quarterbacks

In Willie Young's world, nearly everything is connected to fishing.

His 29th birthday is on Friday, and he tried to celebrate earlier this week by going to a little pond near his house and casting bait, before a security guard told him to leave.

When he makes a big play on the field, Young dances by throwing an invisible line into the water before reeling it in.

And when he's crouched over in his stance as a Bears defensive end, looking out tat the opposing line and quarterback, he compares it to being in a boat, trying to catch the big one.

"In fishing, you don't always get to know when it's going to happen. You don't always know when you are going to catch the big one. You don't know when you are going to fight a fish for 45 minutes and get them to the boat and he spits the hook somehow," Young said.

"If I somehow had to relate my fishing to football, I would say it is patience, always being ready to capitalize on every opportunity."

So far in 2014, Young's production on the field has been the equivalent to catching a 20-pound bass. In two games, Young has three sacks, leading the team and already tying his career high. Versus the 49ers last Sunday, he had a pair of sacks, both of which took place on San Francisco's final drive as the 49ers were looking to tie the game.

After spending the first four years of his career in Detroit, Young has made the kind of impact the Bears were hoping for when they signed him in the offseason. The quick start to the season has increased Young's playing time in the team's deep defensive line rotation.

In the Week 1 game against Buffalo, Young was on the field for 21 defensive plays, which equaled 37 percent of Chicago's defensive snaps. That number jumped up to 34 plays and 51 percent of the snaps in the victory over San Francisco, and could continue to rise as the year progresses.

"We've seen the productivity; he's been highly productive," coach Marc Trestman said. "He's been active and he's produced strongly when he's had the reps. In the first week he had (21) and last week he had quite bit more, and that was a result of what he did the first week. Certainty he should be part of that rotation and he will be."

Young is one of several new players on the defensive side of the ball for Chicago, but he says he has fit right in. Unlike with the Lions, whose locker room was grouped out by position, the Bears randomly organize the lockers, allowing players from different units and sides of the ball to socialize and get to know one another. Young doesn't get ready for practices sitting with his fellow defensive ends; instead, his locker is directly next to running backMatt Forte.

"The camaraderie, it's a great group of guys," Young said. "This locker room is a family-oriented kind of deal. There's no particular group sitting together.

"You got all kind of guys mixed up, but it allows you to interact with different guys on the team. You'd be surprised at what you can find out about some people, know what they do during their off time and all that stuff. It's a great team, we all got one thing in common and that's winning."

Versus the New York Jets on Monday night, Chicago will look to continue its winning ways. If that is to happen, the defense will once again have to come up with some big plays. Young doesn't like to predict if he will record any sacks or not, but knows if he stays ready and anticipates catching opposing quarterbacks, he is bound to reel in a big play or two.

"You never know when sacks are going to come," Young said." I guess I can relate that to fishing, you never know when you are going to catch the big one. You don't know if you are going to catch three fish today, five fish today or no fish today.

"So you have to be ready whenever that opportunity comes. Whenever I get the chance to put my hands on ‘em, to get those quarterbacks, I have to make sure I capitalize."

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