3 burning questions the Commanders defense must answer at training camp in 2023

Jack Del Rio
Jack Del Rio / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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Can the Commanders depend on Chase Young?

For all the positives emanating from the Washington Commanders heading into the new season, one X-factor has the scope to make or break their plans for defensive domination. That, of course, is Chase Young's pursuit of redemption.

Young was a generational prospect coming out of Ohio State that the Commanders selected No. 2 overall. After a first season where the pass-rusher won NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2020, it's been a steep drop off ever since thanks to injury and indifferent production when fit enough to participate.

The player managed to put together 12 games and 1.5 sacks over the last two years, which tells its own story. It also made the decision to decline his fifth-year option an easy one all things considered.

This means Young is heading into a contract year alongside fellow defensive end Montez Sweat, who looks to be the more dependable option. It could be a straight fight between the two for a lucrative new contract, although keeping both around cannot be completely dismissed depending on the available money next spring.

Young looked explosive enough during Washington's mandatory minicamp. However, training camp is a different matter entirely for a player that's missed so much football over the last two years.

There will be constant scrutiny on Young during his time in Ashburn and throughout the regular season. How he copes and overcomes adversity will go a long way to determining what his future in Washington will look like.