ALLEN PARK — Perhaps Willie Young has finally taken the big step.
Young, the Lions' defensive end in his fourth season, has always been a good practice player, but he has not always been able to bring that onto the field on game day.
That seemed to change in the Lions' win over the Minnesota Vikings last Sunday.
“I think Willie had a really good game,’’ defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham said. “I was proud of him. He used his quickness, he’s pretty strong. He doesn’t weigh as much as some of our other (defensive) ends, but he has unreal quickness. He’s jump inside on you in a hurry.
“Guys that did that, they have no fear. I don’t know if he was half-crazy or has no fear, I can’t tell the difference. But he made a couple really big plays,’’ Cunningham said.
Coach Jim Schwartz also saw more consistency out of Young who got his first start last week. Ziggy Ansah was coming off a concussion and saw plenty of action but it was Young who started.
“It’s very important. (Inconsistency) has been (Young’s) issue in the past. It’s being consistent and making plays from within the confines of the defense and things like that,’’ Schwartz said. “He played very well against a really good player last week. (T Matt) Kalil is a Pro Bowl left tackle and he did some really good things. Him and Ziggy (Ansah) both.
“We’re going to need all those guys up front to be able to get pressure on Carson Palmer. That’s going to be a really important part of this game and how the outcome is determined,’’ Schwartz said.