Washington Football Team defensive end Chase Young made it clear Sunday night what he wanted this week: Tom Brady. And that hasn’t changed three days later — even if some tried to turn it into bulletin board material.
After Sunday’s NFC East title-clinching win at Philadelphia, Young was caught on camera saying, “Tom Brady, Tom Brady, I’m coming! I want Tom! I want Tom.”
“I play ball,” Young said Wednesday. “I’m excited to go against the best. The media, their job is to stir it up. If you know me, I’m excited for every game. Tom Brady, you think I’m not excited to play against the GOAT? You trippin’. I’m not going to apologize for saying I want Tom. No, I want every quarterback I play against.”
Young will get his chance against Brady when Washington (7-9) hosts the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (11-5) on Saturday night. Young, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft, has recorded 7.5 sacks and a team-high four forced fumbles. He has returned one fumble for a touchdown. Young ranks seventh with a 22.5% pass rush win rate off the edge, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. And, in the past seven games, he’s second at 26.9%.
But Brady has been sacked only 21 times, fourth fewest in the league for quarterbacks who have started at least 15 games.
“Ask any edge rusher in the league who they want to sack and most might say Tom Brady,” Young said.
Earlier this week, Young’s coach, Ron Rivera, said it will become “bulletin board material” for Tampa.
“They’ll have fun with it. You’ve got to chalk it up to youthful exuberance, but that’s who Chase is,” Rivera said. “I do cringe, but at the same time I smile at it because he loves playing the game. I think that’s what it’s all about. That’s who Chase is. That’s the kind of guy we want on our football team.”
The 43-year-old Brady, who will appear in his 12th straight postseason Saturday, did not take the bait, although his subdued facial expression on a videoconference call said it all.
“He’s obviously a great young player,” Brady said. “We’ve got our hands full with that D-line, one of the best D-lines in the league so, Chase is a great young player. Went to Ohio State, so naturally I think the Ohio State-Michigan thing wears off on ’em a little bit. I understand that. We’re prepared for a tough challenge, and it should be a fun game.”
Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians had high praise for Young, but he also delivered a word of caution for the rookie about poking the bear.
“He’s a hell of a player,” Arians said. “Obviously, making him a captain as a rookie speaks volumes. Both those kids from Ohio State — him and [Terry] McLaurin — are great kids. He’s a handful, but so is [Montez] Sweat, [Daron] Payne, the rest of those guys. Ryan Kerrigan — I’ve had a ton of respect for [him] for a long time. We’ll have our hands full, but it’s one of those games where you better watch what you wish for.”
Young’s exuberance has been evident all season. He delivers fiery pregame speeches and walks the sideline during games while shouting encouragement to the offense. During a loss to Carolina, when backup quarterback Taylor Heinicke replaced Dwayne Haskins, Young ran onto the field during a timeout to pump up Heinicke.
Facing Brady provides Young one more chance to show his enthusiasm.
“I’m definitely excited to play the GOAT,” Young said. “They say the greatest of all time. It’s go time.”
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