The Journal Gazette’s Tony Krausz ran his weekly “Five questions” segment, and this week featured senior right tackle Sam Young.
Young has had an up-and-down season so far, where he’s mixed dominant blocking with head-scratching discipline issues. I won’t pretend to grade out Young’s play in the trenches, but everybody has heard Young’s name announced far too often, and the penalties he has taken are far from ones you’d expect from one of your senior leaders and a top pro prospect like Young.
A few readers have tried to take me to task for not banging the Sam Young drum sooner, but I think the average football fan (or football writer) has very little idea of how an interior offensive lineman is grading out, without being clued in on the scheme. That said, with one-third of the season complete, multiple games with bad decisions are starting to become trends.
Young is one of the most important players on the field for the Irish, and the improvements in the running game are probably anchored around his efforts. Yet for the Irish to have a shot to keep winning this season, they’ll need Young (and everybody else for that matter) to cut down on the self-induced mistakes.
Krausz kept the questions pretty light, but I’m sure he wanted to delve a little bit deeper. Instead of asking about trading places or superpowers, it would have been nice to hear Young explain some of those penalties, and more importantly, hear first-hand what Frank Verducci has meant for Young the unit.
It’s imperative that Young keep the nasty and aggressive streak he’s played with this year, but also keep his head.
(And, you know, remember the snap count.)