As much as I'd love to sit on this until the morning links, it really can't wait. After being extremely tight-lipped considering the media requests I'm sure he's been getting, Vince Young talked to a group of local and national reporters off the cuff today after practice.
There's lots of good stuff here, and VY sounds better than he has in a long time as far as what you want to hear from a young man in his situation. This is the first time I have really gotten the feeling that nobody had to push him out there or prep him on what to say.
Interested yet? Follow me through the jump...
From Paul Kuharsky, here's the meat of the exchange
Vince Young: All my life I've been a competitor. I always play hard and things like that. I can't do nothing about that, that's the boss. The boss said we'll go with 5 [Kerry Collins], so that's all I can do is be supportive of 5, ask questions and pay attention to what he's going through as the veteran quarterback that he is, some of the decisions that he's making out there on the football field. Just pay attention.
And I definitely want to get this [out], while I'm doing this media: A lot of people were saying that I'm not supportive of Kerry and I'm not asking him for advice. I don't know why that's going around, but that's my man, that's my guy. We have a lot of respect for each other and he helps me out, not just with football, he helps me out with accounting, money, all that type of things. I just want to get that out right now. Me and 5 are not like what somebody walked up to me and said earlier.
Are you learning through this adversity?
What are you learning?
VY: I mean, just basically, just a lot. I can't really just talk about all that right now, but it's a lot I'm learning. It's a business.
Is it strange that through your whole career you've been such a huge part of your teams' success and now for the last month or so you haven't been?
VY: I'm still the same. I'm still supporting them. I'm scout team quarterback. I'm still a leader and voicing an opinion in the locker room, up and down the sideline keeping the guys, like in the Baltimore game, keeping guys loose, keeping guys into the game even though we had some ups and downs in the game. But me being the leader that I am, I'm not going to not say nothing. I'm going to go walk around, 'Hey, you all keep your head up, don't turn on each other, let's keep playing, we're going to win this game.' You know, be that leader, be that voice on the sideline as well.
I just want to let you all know I am still that guy, even though I'm not playing, I'm still voicing my opinion about certain things and trying to keep my teammates up. Because even though I am not playing, I'm still happy that we are 5-0, I'm still happy that we're winning ball games and things like that.
You fell like in time this is going to be your team again?
VY: I haven't the slightest idea. You've got to ask coach Fish that. I'm just sitting back playing my part and my position that he has me at right now.
Do you wonder yourself?
VY: Somewhat. I don't have the slightest idea. All I can do is like I am doing right now. Rehabbing my knee, lifting weights staying focused, staying into the offense, asking questions to coach [Mike] Heimerdinger and the guys. That's basically all that I can do. If my number is called, all I can do is just wait. Right now I just have to stay focused and always be ready.
If they put in formations and trick plays to get you back involved in the offense, would you be open to that type of thing?
VY: I knew that question was coming. [Laughter]. I can't really answer that right now.
You talked about things you wanted to get out. Was it true that going through the adversity you've gone through, was part of that because you didn't have much adversity coming into the NFL and you didn't know how to handle it?
VY: I had a lot of adversity. Just being the Texas quarterback, just being period. It's just that the whole world knows now who I am as a person. This is the whole world. I'm not just dealing with Austin like I was. Now I am dealing with everybody now. It's a learning process for me, but at the same time, I'm over that. That's out the window. It's made me a stronger black man that I am and it's making me a stronger competitor. And when I do get a chance to be back on that football field, it's going to be a whole other Vince Young.
Why do you say 'black man,' why not just 'man?'
VY: Period. Well I'm a black man, so I'm going to say I'm a black man. [Laughter]. Man, period. I'm a strong, strong man, a strong black man, which I am."