Marshall Faulk poses a very timely (and poignant) question, considering the banged-up Chicago Bears defense. Before we get into answering, let's review the injuries:
- Charles Tillman: Out (IR)
- Shea McClellin: Out (hand)
- Sherrick McManis: Out (quad)
- Jeremiah Ratliff: Out (concussion)
- Jared Allen: Questionable (illness)
-Chris Conte: Questionable (shoulder)
That's a lot of firepower either lost or potentially lost for a super-critical game against division rival Green Bay this week.
To return to Faulk's question: If the game is on the line, which defensive player is Chicago counting on the most? If that doesn't return you to the bend but don't break philosophy of former head coach Lovie Smith, I don't know what will.
The key this week, especially with all of the injuries, will be getting pressure on Aaron Rodgers. In theory, that is a critical key every week, but with Tillman and McManis out, and Conte potentially as well, the Chicago Bears defensive backfield could have a long day if Rodgers has time to sit back and pick them apart.
So who do the Bears lean on to generate that pressure, especially with Ratliff and McClellin out and Allen likely to not play? I think this week it will be defensive end Willie Young.
Young has already eclipsed his previous career-high in sacks, totaling 4 for the season through three games. His first step seems to be getting quicker each week, which will play a critical role in disrupting Rodgers' naturally fast release of the football.
If the game is on the line and the Bears need to rely on someone to be a rock, Willie Young will get his shot to shine this week. Can he do it? Stay tuned...