Up until defensive coordinator Vic Fangio came to down, the Chicago Bears had never run a 3-4 base defense in the history of their franchise. And when Fangio arrived this past off-season, the roster was full of 4-3 guys. That left the Bears in a bit of a pickle, but that's where general manager Ryan Pace comes in.
While Fangio has done a good job of implementing his schematic changes, the Bears have been struggling all season to really get this 3-4 defense to bloom. Each week Fangio has his guys prepared to play, but he just doesn't have enough impact 3-4 players to really make a difference.
Earlier this season, after Jared Allen was traded to the Carolina Panthers, rumors surfaced that Willie Young had also requested a trade. Young, like Allen, has a skill set that is build to put his hand down in the dirt in a 4-3 scheme and rush the passer, but as an outside linebacker in Chicago, he hasn't been able to flourish as he did in 2014.
Now, according to Jason La Canfora, Young has again requested a trade ahead of the Tuesday afternoon deadline.
Among players who could be dealt by Tues. Willie Young requested trade from CHI. Badly wants to move to 4-3 team. Could make an impact— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) November 2, 2015
Could Young benefit from a change in scenery? Absolutely. He had the best season of his career last year with 10 sacks, before tearing his achilles tendon in the next-to-last game of the season and having surgery. With him inactive a few times to start 2015, many were wondering if this was just due to him still recovering from that off-season surgery, or if it was because he had failed to make an impact in Fangio's new system.
But what we've seen lately is Young starting to be used in more pass-rushing situations, and he's done an okay job. If his achilles is truly healed up, the Bears may be able to move him to a 4-3 team that's in need of a good edge rusher. The question is, of course, what could they get in return? If Allen's trade warranted a 6th round pick, it could be assumed that would be in the same ballpark for Young.
Also reported: Lamarr Houston may also request a trade.
Houston is another defensive end that got transitioned into a 3-4 outside linebacker role, and could also benefit from being traded to a 4-3 base defense.
What will the Bears do, if anything, ahead of the 4pm ET/ 3pm CT trade deadline?