Photo: Jamie Squire / Getty Images
We Colts fans (and AFC South fans in general) have had our fun at Vince Young's expense. Vince is a highly talented athlete who, let's face it, is not the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree. To put it bluntly, the dude is dumber than a sack of hammers. You don't need a Wonderlic test to know this, as Vince pretty routinely says and does stupid things. Since 2006, the Titans have dumbed down an already dumbed down offense in order to help Vince Young progress, and all it has done is produce 30 INTs and only 21 TDs from the University of Texas product. In 2007, Vince Young averaged a 6.7 yards per completion, fumbled 10 times (lost 3 of them), and generated a QB rating of 71.1. We saw him pout, whine, physically attack teammates, and (when crunch time came) he sat on the sidelines and watched Kerry Collins lead the Titans into the playoffs.
Yet, despite his horrid play, bad leadership, laziness, and questionable off-the-field conduct that had him disciplined by the Titans, we saw numerous apologists make excuse after excuse for Vince Young's actions. Now, the excuses need to stop and Titans fans need to start seeing reality. They need to start clamoring for change if they ever want to see their team in a Super Bowl anytime soon.
They need to start screaming for Vince to get cut. Not traded. Not benched. C-U-T. Cut.
Why? Because following his rookie season, which saw him win the 2006 Rookie of the Year award and a trip to the Pro Bowl, Vince Young nearly quit football because it was, essentially, too hard:
"I really thought long and hard about it," Young said on Thursday after practice. "There was so much going on with my family. It was crazy being an NFL quarterback. It wasn't fun anymore. All of the fun was out of it. All of the excitement was gone. All I was doing was worrying about things.
Seriously. Are you kidding me!
Could you imagine if someone like Peyton Manning or Eli Manning had said something like this following any of the seasons prior to them winning Super Bowls. Media trolls and, likely, the same people making excuses for Vince Young would have jumped all over it, propping it up and using it as an example of how the Mannings are nothing more than spoiled little rich kids who choke under pressure. If Donovan McNabb had ever said ANYTHING even remotely close to Vince Young's confession, Philly media and fans would boo him every single time he set foot on the field. However, when Vince Young says he almost quit on his team, fanbase, and the NFL following a very successful rookie season, we get nary a peep from Vince fans.
Typical, I know.
For years, I told Jaguars fans that Byron Leftwich, another over-rated first round bust of a QB whose fans made all kinds of excuses for, needed to get cut in order for Jacksonville to take its team to the next level. Yet the Jags held out hope for "Fatty McButterpants" to finally come around, even though he couldn't do the most basic task a QB is required to do in the NFL: Throw accurately from the pocket. The same is now true for the Titans. If Titans fans want to see their club actually win games and go somewhere in the playoffs, they need to get rid of Vince Young and start over.
Real NFL QBs with a desire to work hard and win do not legitimately contemplate retirement after their rookie seasons. You can draw any kind of conclusion you want from Vince Young's statement, and likely spin it into an excuse. Maybe he had family problems. Maybe he was dealing with personal issues. Maybe he was just talking out of his ass.
Maybe, but doubtful.
The reason Vince Young likely contemplated quitting football was because, unlike college football, you actually have to WORK to be good. No more showing up on game day and "doing your thing." You must live, eat, breath, and sleep football for close to 300 days a year, minimum. You don't just show up and play. You work, and work, and work, and work, and work some more. Then, you play the games. It seems here that Vince doesn't like the work part of playing football. It isn't "fun."
Please, pass the Patron and cry me a river.
You will pardon me if I have little sympathy for someone who thinks that football isn't "fun" even though he was paid $26 million in signing bonus money. Heaven forbid Vince Young actually had to work in order to justify that money before he ever tried to throw an NFL pass. I will likely get flamed for this story, as I always do when I call Vince Young out for the fraud he is. But sometimes the truth hurts and people lash out at the messenger rather than face reality. This has nothing to do with the University of Texas or the Tennessee Titans. Both are excellent institutions in their own rights. This is about a player who is held to a different (and lesser) standard than other players at his position, and is given a pass when other players are not. Sports both builds and reveals character, and in Vince's case professional sports has revealed much of his inner life. He is not a hard worker. He is not a clutch player.
He is not a franchise QB.
Like I always say with Vince Young: If he ever turns it around and develops into a real quarterback, I'll be the first one to stand up and say I was wrong. However, I doubt that will happen. Vince Young is likely yet another over-rated college star who lacks the toughness, character, and work ethic necessary to become a great NFL player. His recent comments enforce this, and if his play continues to stagnate, it will be hard to take Vince apologists seriously anymore.
Jimmy at Music City Miracles also commented on Vince Young's "retirement" talk today as well.
UPDATE: Even Peter King thinks Vince Young is a sketchy character, and the Titans should be concerned:
I think if I'm the Titans, I'm not feeling very good about my quarterback right now. Did you see what Vince Young told Thomas George of NFL.com?
Wow. The Titans hand Young the keys to their franchise, he misses a plane to one of his rookie-year games (Philadelphia), and now he admits he thought of quitting at the end of the year? Now there's a solid guy.