Was 2006 really that long ago? It was that year that Vince Young led the Texas Longhorns to a National Championship and was about to be the 3rd pick in the NFL Draft by the Tennessee Titans and their head coach Jeff Fischer. Despite still having the late-Steve McNair on their squad, despite scoring only a 6 (later reported a 16) out of 50 points on his Wonderlic Test and despite issues with mechanics, Vince Young was going to revolutionize the NFL and while many people felt the Titans should’ve taken USC-phenom Matt Leinart, Fischer made Vince Young the face of the franchise. It’s amazing how time can change things.
Young would have a sensational rookie season leading the Titans to a playoff-birth and seemed only to get better with age. Young would be on the cover of Sports Illustrated, would be the Offensive Rookie of the Year and looked to be a new age of quarterback. And then…
2007 was a rocky year for the Texas-product with injuries and discipline problems looming. Nevertheless, Young would lead the Titans back to the playoffs and seemed to have a very bright future. That all fell apart during the first game of the 2008 season when Young appeared to be injured and was benched. A distraught Vince Young was reportedly suicidal and Kerry Collins would take over the Titans. Tennessee would finish the year 13-3 and lose in the playoffs.
Kerry Collins is the future?
In 2009, Kerry Collins got the ball and the Titans started 0-6. Jeff Fischer would once again turn to Vince Young. Despite rumors that Young would end up in Detroit prior to the team going with Matthew Stafford, the Titans held the face of their franchise close and Young did not end up in Detroit, instead, he ended up starting for the Titans again and despite the 0-6 start, had the team coming close to a playoff-birth again. The team was once again Young’s. And then…
Following a bad performance and an injury, Young was told he would not reenter a game. Young threw a tantrum, tossed his shoulder pads into the crowd and was not invited back to the team facility. Eventually, Vince Young would send a text message to coach Jeff Fischer stating an apology but this time, the Titans had enough. Young was placed on Injured Reserve and team owner Bud Adams stated that Young and the Titans would part ways. And now…
One has to hope that the final chapter in the Vince Young saga has not been written. With injuries to Matthew Stafford, maybe Young could still end up in Detroit? With teams such as Carolina, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Jacksonville, Washington and others shopping for a potential starting quarterback, there may be a place for Vince Young in the NFL…or maybe not?
For Vince Young, the future is now. While he is only 27, Young has burned many bridges in his short tenure. A fresh start may be what the doctor ordered. At the end of the day, anybody with compassion is rooting for Vince Young to work it out. We just can’t be sure if rooting for Vince Young is enough to salvage a once incredible NFL career.