Anyone who has read any of my writing over the years knows that I was never a believer in Vince Young at the next level. Sure, he was an amazing talent in college, but I just never saw his game translating to the NFL. After being cut from his third NFL team, I think I can safely continue to call him a bust without receiving the same “knee-jerk” accusations I’ve gotten the past five years or so.
First off, I could see if Buffalo had cut him for a decent backup that no one expected to be on the market, but Tarvaris Jackson was so bad last year that I scratched my head as to why he was still in the league. To be cut in favor of giving up an asset for Jackson? That one has to hurt. But even before that, there were plenty of signs that the guy just didn’t have the maturity or the overall skills to be a starting quarterback in this league.
If you look at his tumultuous departure from the Tennessee Titans as an example, I’m shocked any other team out there gave him a chance. A Ryan leaf-like tantrum that saw him throw his pads into the crowd was just ridiculous and I’m still surprised to this day that Jeff Fisher didn’t demand he be released immediately afterwards.
I’ve had this debate with fans of Vince’s for years. Living in Houston, it’s been a hot-button issue since before the 2006 NFL Draft. The problem with a lot of fans in this city is that they think with their heart and not their head. Therefore, the appeal of the “hometown kid” far outweighs the draw of the best player available to most of them. I’ve never thought that way, personally. I don’t care what school you went to, where you were born, what your religion is, if you were my best friend in high school or whatever. I just want the player that’s best going to help my team and in 2006, Vince Young wasn’t it.
Prior to that draft, I was well on record with stating that I thought Jay Cutler was the only one of the first round quarterbacks that would be a quality NFL starter. In fairness, I did think Matt Leinart had a good chance, too. So I’m far from a prophet on draft prospect analysis. But what I did know was that Young’s playing style might start off hot until teams figured out how to gameplan for him, then he’d be just another guy. And that is precisely what happened.
But the devotion to Young, mostly from the fans or alumni of the University of Texas, is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Even to this day they call in local sports radio and give reasons why he would be better for the Texans than Matt Schaub. They cite his winning percentage and accolades in “big games.” They always neglect to mention that all those big games were at the college level, however. It’s quite annoying, even before it was two years old. We’re now six years and three teams past that and a good number of fans here still remain blindly devoted to VY.
The bottom line is that Andy Reid and Chan Gailey should have been great fits for Young. I don’t know if his work ethic is bad, his attitude is all wrong or if he just can’t play at this level, but the guy is done. If a team ditches you for Tarvaris Jackson, something is wrong upstairs between the ears. We all know about his immaturity and his stubbornness to admit that he isn’t the best player on the field by always proclaiming that he should be the starter a day after getting in a fight at the strip club. But I have to wonder if it’s even worse behind closed doors.
In the end, I have no personal vendetta against the kid, as I did root for him in college. It’s admittedly his unreasonable, moronic supporters that soured me on him. But as far as an NFL player goes, I just never believed his skill set would be a match for any team in the league. At this point, it has to seem clear that I was correct on this one.
If he can’t stick around as the backup in Buffalo and is replaced with Tarvaris Jackson, I’m not sure there is another team that even gives him a shot. But if he were ever going to prove me wrong, this is his moment. If not, the CFL is always looking for live arms.
Filed under: NFL