With all that’s been written lately about “benchgate”, and then the ultra-conservative game plan last week, a lot of folks have been speculating about whether or not Fisher trusts VY. That’s a pretty fair question. It was indeed an ultra-conservative game plan, even for a conservative coach like Fisher. So what gives? Does Fisher not trust Young? Does he not like him? Did he even want him in the first place?
I’ve heard for years now about how Fisher is a USC guy and therefore wanted to take Leinart but was forced by Bud to take Young. Or that he fell in love with Cutler and wanted to take him but was forced by Bud to take Young. Now, stuck with the qb he never wanted, he’s content to let Young fail so he can then say “told ya we should’ve taken the other guy”.
But for all the Fisher = USC = Leinart talk, none of it came from anyone with direct knowledge of who wanted whom. Fisher has denied repeatedly that he wanted someone else. Surely if Fisher wanted someone else, someone with direct knowledge would come out and say so. I doubt Floyd Reese or Norm Chow for example would care to protect that little secret for Fisher.
I believe that Fisher did want Young. I believe the plan was for McNair, who we all know had mentored Young for years, to finish his career a Titan. I think he hoped to get two, maybe three years with Young learning under “Pops” then Fisher would hand the reins over to his spectacularly talented, and thoroughly prepared new franchise qb. Instead McNair became a salary cap casualty, lord knows what happened with Volek, and suddenly Fisher didn’t get to give Young the time he wanted to give him to sit and learn what it takes to be a successful NFL QB.
Then there’s Bud. Bud certainly made his feelings known about who he wanted. He felt Young was too talented to pass on. It also brings the Titans a fan base in Texas where Young is a god. But I think Bud felt Young would deliver a Super Bowl victory. He could then say “I took your hometown guy, who your Houston Texans passed on, and I won a Super Bowl with him. How you like me now Houston?” At his age, Bud wanted Vince on the field day one. I think that is the area of disagreement between Bud and Fisher.
They will open up the offense. Fisher is conservative. Dinger is less so, even under Fisher. Bud is not conservative nor is he hands off. Bud won an AFL championship with George Blanda throwing 36 TDs in an 11 game season. Bud later hired one of the early architects of the modern passing game in Sid Gillman. He was unhappy with the uncreative offensive style of bum Phillips and told him to either hire an OC or go. Remember the run and shoot? Bud will expect them to use Vince in a way that takes advantage of his unique talents.
So does Fisher trust Vince? Obviously not completely, not yet anyway. I think he worries about Young;s mental toughness. So do I sometimes. But does he want what’s best for Young? Yes. I think he brought in Dinger, a notorious hardass coach, to give Young both the skills and the mentality that the job requires.
I’m optimistic that Young will emerge this year. Who knows? Maybe Bud will even get to bring the Lombardi trophy to
Houston Nashville. How sweet would that be?