Vince Young Isn’t Cut Out To Be A Starting NFL Quarterback
At some point, you have to say enough is enough. You have to stop trying to pretend something is something other than what it is. You have to stop trying to talk yourself into things. And at this point, I’m ready to admit that Vince Young is not cut out to be a starting quarterback.
I’ve been sticking up for Vince Young for five years now. Ever since he led the University of Texas to a Rose Bowl victory and a college football national championship back in 2006, I’ve been riding for the guy—hoping the best for his career. But after seeing his embarrassing display during a game on Sunday afternoon against the Washington Redskins, in which he reportedly threw his shoulder pads into the stands after being told by Titans head coach Jeff Fisher that he would not be reentering the game after sustaining a thumb injury, VY is officially a lost cause.
Need one good reason? I’ve got at least five. This is why Young will never be the elite NFL quarterback that many people—myself included—thought he’d be when he entered the league:
1. He is too injury-prone to play for an entire season.
Forget Young’s off-the-field issues for a second. The first—and possibly the worst—problem he’s had over the course of his short career is that he can’t stay on the field. From his rookie season up through this season (which is now over, considering he needs surgery to repair his recently-injured thumb) Young has sustained one injury after another. Right when it looks like he’s back and better than ever, something else pops up and Young ends up back on the sidelines.
2. He hasn’t played his best in big moments.
Which is actually relatively surprising when you figure that the Rose Bowl victory in 2006 was a huge game played in front of a huge audience. In reality, though, Young has shined in mop-up duty in the NFL and only achieved a high level success when his team is down in the dumps. For example, he helped lead the team back to a respectable 8-8 record last season after they started 0-6. But he’s never been the sole leader on a team that’s made and competed in the NFL Playoffs.
3. He has never assumed a leadership role with the Titans.
Part of the reason he hasn’t become a leader is because he’s out due to injury so often. Players look to their starting QB for support and he hasn’t been able to give it to them sitting on the bench.
4. He can’t handle the criticism given to him by fans and the media.
Young has responded remarkably poorly to being booed by the Titans’ hometown crowd—in one notable incident, he allegedly disappeared from his home after a game due to emotional instability—and he has shown a knack for acting out whenever he is criticized in any way. That reared its ugly head again on Sunday afternoon when he threw his shoulder pads into the crowd.
5. He isn’t good enough to have four strikes against him.
Vince Young’s biggest problem isn’t that he gets moody or that he can’t keep himself on the field thanks to multiple injuries. It’s that he hasn’t proven that he isn’t good enough—not yet, at least—to have any problems. It’s one thing to struggle learning the offense when you first come into the league or to have a couple cases of bad luck and end up on IR. It’s another to make your fans feel like their starting QB, the guy who was supposed to take them to a Super Bowl one day, always has something negative going on in his life. You know the guy who always has something wrong in his life but it’s never his fault? At some point, that guy has to realize why bad things keep happening to him. Right now, Vince Young is that guy. And if that’s really who he is, he’s not cut out to be a starting NFL quarterback.