Whitlock: It’s way too early to suggest Young will be successful

Jason Whitlock writes that the book is still out on Vince Young, even though the Titans have won four straight since his return to the starting lineup.

Young needed to be benched. He needed to be humiliated and humbled. It was the only way to get his attention.

Vince Young did one thing Monday night that I did not like. In his immediate postgame interview on the field with Suzy Kolber, Young did not credit his teammates for his and the Titans’ success. This was a small error. But it’s an indication of where his mind is.

Vince Young believes he was done wrong by his critics and perhaps Jeff Fisher. He’s wallowing in victimhood and looking for an I-told-you-so moment.

I hope I’m wrong. I hope Young understands the mistakes he made and what he has to do to build on the success he’s enjoying now. He’s never going to be a guy who puts up huge passing numbers. That’s fine. If he avoids turnovers and moves the chains two or three times a game with a scramble, he’s a winning quarterback. He threw for 116 yards and rushed for 73.
What I liked best about Young on Monday was his comfort in the pocket. He has accepted the challenge of being a pocket quarterback. His body language was good, too. A teammate dropped a beautiful downfield throw and Young did not react negatively. He stayed positive and moved to the next play. That’s leadership.

The intangibles — leadership, courage against the pass rush, timely scrambles and avoidance of turnovers — are what can make Young a long-term winner in Tennessee. If he can get and keep his mind in the right state, he’ll prove his critics wrong and make us all eat crow without having to say a word.

Oh, and he needs Chris Johnson to stay healthy and continue to carry the team.

Young is succeeding because the expectations were low when he re-entered the lineup. Heading into his second season after his rookie year, the expectations were extremely high and he crumbled. It’ll be interesting to see whether or not he’ll continue to perform well if the Titans win and the stakes get higher.

Some players perform better when they have a chip on their shoulder, although that kind of motivation is usually short lived. Eventually, Young will need to become a leader and a consistent performer if he’s going to succeed in the NFL. Time will tell if he has finally turned the corner.


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Titans owner wants to see Fisher play Young

According to a report by the Nashville Tennessean, Titans’ owner Bud Adams wants to see a little more Vince Young and a little less Kerry Collins.

“I have been wanting him to play Vince Young more because Collins has been having his problems out there,” Adams said. “I just think we need to find out how well (Young) can do. If you don’t play the guy and lose all your games, it is hard for you to see what he can do if he is not playing.

“Vince has won a lot of games for us. But Jeff is the one making those decisions; they are playing for him.”

If you read the entire article, Adams does a nice job of venting his frustrations but not making overly dramatic statements. He doesn’t like the way the Titans have started the season, but he’s relying on the coaching staff to make the football decisions, which he should.

I’ve been writing for weeks how the Titans should give Young a shot under center. He’s not going to magically turn things around for Tennessee, but he might give his team a shot in the arm and get them to at least be competitive. Watching Collins and the rest of the Titans play in New England yesterday was pathetic.

Fisher needs to do something, even if it doesn’t wind up panning out in the end. He can’t possibly think that the team that took the field yesterday gives him the best chance to win and if he does, then more losing is ahead for the Titans.

Is it time for the Titans to go back to Young?

If the Tennessee Titans were to make a list of the problems they’ve had this year, Kerry Collins wouldn’t be in the top 5. A horrid pass defense, the inability to convert third downs, and turnovers would be near the top. (All three were on full display on Sunday as the Jaguars crushed the Titans 37-17.)

But the Titans need a spark and at 0-4, it might be time for Jeff Fisher to go back to Vince Young, who played himself out of the starting lineup following a mental breakdown in the opening week of 2008.

Young won’t solve all of the Titans’ issues, if any of them. Even if he did play well, the secondary still has massive issues and Tennessee would have to cut down on the turnovers. But he might be able to keep the chains moving with his legs and give the Titans an opportunity to sustain drives.

Collins has proven in the early going that he can’t keep the offense on the field, particularly in the first half. That has allowed opponents to get their offenses on the field and take advantage of Tennessee’s problems in the secondary. In the last two weeks, the Titans have found themselves down by 10 or more points in the first quarter because of turnovers or the offense’s inability to pick up first downs.

Again, Young won’t be a cure-all, but Fisher has to do something because the players look like they’re quitting on the season. And for a team that started ’08 10-0, there’s just no excuse for that.

Agent: Young hasn’t requested a trade from Titans

After telling WMAR-TV in Baltimore on Monday that he wanted a chance to play or be traded, the agent for Vince Young is now saying that his client wants to stay in Tennessee and has not requested a trade.

Young, who told Baltimore television station WMAR earlier this week that he is focused on winning back the starting job in Tennessee, but that if that doesn’t happen, that he would be ready to move on.

“Definitely I want to be in there playing ball and picking up where I left off, winning games and having a good time with my teammates and fans. But at the same time if them guys don’t want me in there, it’s time for me to make a career change for myself. The fact is I’m ready to play ball, and if they’re not ready for me to play ball, somebody is.”

Major Adams, who represents Young, said his client has not asked for a trade, nor does he have any desire to be moved away from the Titans.

“Vince’s desire has always been to compete for the starting quarterback job in Tennessee,” Adams said. “Even before they drafted him, they asked him if he thought he could compete for the starting role, and he said yes. He has always been a starter and that is his mindset.

“He has not asked to be traded, and in fact, is going to an event at Bud Adams’ ranch this weekend. Plus, he was in there working out [Monday. If he didn’t have a desire to stay there, he wouldn’t be doing any of that.”

This sounds like an agent trying to do damage control after his client opened his mouth a little too wide during an interview.

To be fair, Young never said that he wanted or asked to be traded. But he did hint that if the Titans don’t “want him to play” then he’d move on and find someone who will. Either way, he needs to worry more about competing with Kerry Collins and let the rest take care of itself.

He proved to be a little bit of a mental midget last season and now would be a great time for him to prove everybody that he can still be a starter by beating Collins out this summer. It would behoove him not to cry about the fact that he’s not a starter anymore and instead, go out and earn his job back.

Does Vince Young want out of Tennessee?

On Monday, Titans quarterback Vince Young told WMAR-TV in Baltimore that he wants a chance to play or he wants out of Tennessee.

From Rotoworld:

Young lost his starting job to Kerry Collins last year when he struggled horribly in new coordinator Mike Heimerdinger’s offense, then sprained his MCL in Week 1. “If them guys don’t want me to be in there, it’s time for me to make a career change,” he said. “I’m ready to play ball. If they’re not ready for me to play ball, then somebody is.” The Titans say V.Y. will compete in camp, but he’d have to outplay Collins by a huge margin to regain the position.

As a football fan, I can’t respect that. I can’t respect an athlete saying, ‘If my team doesn’t want me, then I’ll find someone else who will.’

How about competing for once? How about going out on the field and proving that you’re better than the guy you’re competing against?

See, that’s the trouble with athletes these days – they get everything handed to them. From the moment their talents are recognized as youths, everything is given to them and they rarely have to earn playing time. It’s no wonder we as a society like hearing about stories of players who were always told they weren’t good enough. It’s because those players had to work for everything they got and they never stop working, even when they’ve “made it.”

Young was a god at Texas, so when he got to the NFL he must have figured that everything would continue to be taken care of for him. And when shit hit the fan, what happened? He hid behind his fragile emotions instead of fighting to stay on the field.

The Titans want somebody who’ll fight for a win every week, which is why Kerry Collins will remain the starter. If Young wants his job back, he has to earn it and just based on his comments from the TV interview, I’m not sure he’s willing to work for it. He’d rather have the job handed back to him and be coddled for the rest of his career.

Granted, I didn’t see the interview so maybe I’m taking what he said out of context. But based on the quotes from him above, Young needs to grow a pair and challenge Collins for the right to play on Sundays instead of whining about how Tennessee might not want him. They gave him $58 million to be the starter – they want him to play. He just has to want it for himself.

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