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WFT Daily: Chasing The Combined Single-Season Sack Record

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Chase Young and Montez Sweat warm up before practice. (Emilee Fails/Washington Football Team)

Training camp is here, and we have you covered as the Washington Football Team progresses through its second season under head coach Ron Rivera. Stay up to date with "WFT Daily," which comes out every weekday evening.

From the moment Chase Young was drafted No. 2 overall, the overwhelming belief was that he and Montez Sweat would be one of the best young pass-rushing tandems in the NFL.

Expectations: met.

The duo of first-round picks had a combined 16.5 sacks in their first year together (as a point of reference, that was 35% of Washington's 47 sacks from the entire defense). Another year working in Jack Del Rio’s 4-3 scheme is only going to help them reach their full potential.

And it sounds like Sweat already has a standard for him and Young to overcome: breaking the combined single-season sack record.

"We talk about it all the time," Sweat told reporters after practice.

For those wondering what that number is, it's 39. That was accomplished in 1989, when Chris Doleman and Keith Millard racked up 21 and 18 sacks, respectively, with the Vikings. Doleman, who led the league in sacks that season, is tied with Reggie White for the fifth-best single season performance for a pass-rusher.

Sweat believes he and Young can get there at some point in their time together. They're both dynamic, and he said his bond with Young has grown tremendously over the past year.

"We are two guys who kind of share some of the same things with both being first rounders," Sweat said. "We both came in kind of young. So, we kind of lean on each other with those aspects and examples of life and just continue to build a brotherhood."

There are a few milestones for Sweat and Young to reach before that happens, though, namely that they both need to get double-digit sacks. The last time the franchise had two double-digit edge rushers was all the way back in 2009, when Andre Carter and Brian Orakpo recorded 11 sacks apiece. The 2000 season, during which Marco Coleman and Bruce Smith combined for 22 sacks, is the only other occurrence in the past two decades.

Dexter Manley and Charles Mann, likely the best pass-rushing duo in team history, achieved the feat regularly in the 1980s. They combined for 58 sacks from 1985-86, including 29.5 in 1985. There's still some work to be done before Sweat and Young reach even that number, but based on the way they push each other, it might come sooner rather than later.

"If Montez is going and I'm slacking a little bit, I know I got to pick the slack up because I know Montez over there busting his [butt]," Young said. "Same with me, vice versa. I think we keep each other up and I feel like we just keep each other going. I feel like that's how great we can be if we just keep doing that."

Most, if not all Washington fans believe the team has something special with Sweat and Young on the same team. It sounds like they feel the same way, but they want more than that, and they're pushing each other to do it.

"Me and Montez are one of the top two edge rushing duos in the league they say," Young said, "so it's always something to prove."l

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