Hey lay off Vince Young. Good God man.

September 21, 2008

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Michael Lombardo

Hey lay off Vince Young. Good God man.

Okay, so-- being a Titans fan the last 3 weeks has been an emotional roller coaster. We started the season with a lot of speculation about Vince Young's throwing ability and it didn't look that good in game one. There were a couple of dropped catchable balls, so he looked off and very confused out there. It was like watching a kid that's had too much sugar and gets let loose in Chuck-E-Cheese; he doesn't know where to start first, and he sure does make a scene trying to figure it out. I still consider this to be part of a starting quarterback's growing pains in the NFL. I mean the guy is under so much pressure to perform to everyone's expectations, that it's almost impossible for him to make ANYONE happy. The problem with the average NFL fan is that after one good showing of their hometown QB, they immediately develop unreasonable expectations for the next game. 

 I think that VY has had a lot to adjust to in the last 4 years. In college he was BMOC, he could do no wrong. He beat everyone in the Big 12 practically by himself. Then he defeated the quote-unquote greatest team to ever grace the football field, according to all of the quote-unquote experts, in the National Championship against the USC Trojans. Then he took the next big step and decided to leave school early and go to the NFL. Then the curtain rose on the Drama.

First he scored low on the Wonderlic test and everyone was up in arms about it.  Know who else scored low on the Wonderlic? Dan Marino, and I know what you're saying: "but Vince isn't Marino!"  Hey, I know that.  That's not the point.  The point is, it doesn't matter what he could do on a test but what he can do on the football field. Then his side arm throwing motion was the next thing everybody fussed about. You know what?   Can he throw it over the defensive line?   Oh, he can?   Then what's the freaking problem?

After all that the Titans still drafted him number three overall in the draft ahead of Leinart and ahead of Cutler. What's Leinart doing now? Riding the bench. I know Cutler is quote-unquote on fire and everything.  Let him play the defenses in the AFC south and we'll see what he says the next day.

After VY lit the league on fire and won the rookie of the year award in 2006 everyone was expecting big things from him, and that is EXACTLY what the problem is. Look at what he's gone through since that halcyon year.

1. Lost three of his best offensive weapons after that first year: Drew Bennett (Rams) Bobby Wade (Vikings) and Travis Henry (Broncos now suspended by the league).

2. Had to completely change how he played football because Norm Chow wanted him to be like Carson Palmer, Matt Leinart, and Steve Young (who he coached at BYU). Instead of letting him go out there and play his own game, they wanted to break him down into a pocket-passing QB.  Vince isn't a pocket passer, he's a playmaker; he makes things happen with his feet. Then after learning all that, Chow was fired and they brought back Mike Heimerdinger, the old O-Coordinator, and told him "go back to how you used to play".  Thats like teaching a guy to learn english, then once he start's to understand it you tell him to go back and un-learn it.

3. Pressure to make everyone happy. In college it's comparatively easy to please everyone.  In the pros you have to consistently make everyone happy, and even THEN not everyone will be happy with your performance. Steve McNair had the same problem his first 3 years in Tennessee and he eventually won over the crowd, but in What-Have-You-Done-For-Me-Lately-Land, nobody has any patience. After his first ever major injury the crowd booed him.  Booed him!   Last time I checked, this wasn't Philly.

4. He's mentally unstable right now.  He's never had to deal with adversity like this in his life.  People could care less about him in Tennessee because the back-up QB is here to save the day.  So he's completely distraught and ready to give up.  This is where as a team and a city people should rally around him but in today's world, it's all about immediate gratification.

People will always say he isn't a good quarterback and won't make it (Merill Hodge).  But I'm here to say the guy is a game breaker.  We just need to let him play his game. 

Right now everyone is on the Kerry Collins bandwagon.  But as soon as teams start teeing off on his big mistakes, the crowd will go back to wanting Vince.  Mark my words.  When people realize we need our franchise QB back out on the field, VY will be rejuvenated.  Until then?  Music City belongs to Kerry Collins.

Go Titans.

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