Chase Young is experiencing the rare fruits of his rookie labor: His team has made the playoffs in his first professional season, and he's making a significant impact.
It's fair, then, for Young to be feeling himself a little bit. The defensive end let it be known as he skipped off the field in Philadelphia on Sunday night that he has a future Hall of Famer in his crosshairs.
Bruce Arians caught wind of Young's request this week and was quick to praise the rookie and some of his key teammates, but ended with a lesson that might prove to be mighty important come Saturday.
"It's kind of like what (Pittsburgh Steelers coach) Mike Tomlin was talking about, you don't want to have to draft that high to get guys like that," Arians said, referring to Tomlin's pregame chat with Young before Pittsburgh fell to Washington, via the Tampa Bay Times. "But you've got to play against them. He's a hell of a player. Making him a captain as a rookie speaks volumes.
"Both those kids from Ohio State, he and (receiver 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 a long time. We'll have our hands full, but it's one of those games where you better watch what you wish for."
Brady is not one who needs extra motivation for any type of competition, let alone his first playoff game as a Buccaneer. Requesting the six-time champion is bold, but bold is not always wise. You know, mess with the bull, get the horns.
He's also getting hot at just the right time, boosting his passer rating from 96.2 in Weeks 1-9 to 110 in Weeks 10-17, and throwing for more passing yards per game in that latter span than he ever has in his career in the second half of a season, per NFL Research.
Brady is hot and on a mission. He'll face quite a challenge this weekend when Washington's second-ranked defense comes to town, bringing a pass rush that ranks seventh in the league in disruption rate. We'll learn if Brady is up to the task and ready to teach Young a tough lesson -- or if the youngster's requests ends up proving prescient.