Let me start by saying that I hope Vince Young gets the help that he needs. There are things that are more important than football, and if he is truly battling depression that is a result of chemical imbalance, he does need to get some help.
Now we move on to the football part of this equation. I have been firmly entrinched in the VY camp since they called his name on draft day. If you have spent any amount of time on this blog you know that. The leadership skills he showed in college and in his rookie season left no doubt in my mind that he was going to be a great NFL quarterback.
Between the end of his rookie season and the start of his 2nd year he lost something. I have no idea when, where, or how it happened, but it happened. In his current state of mind, he is not fit to be an NFL quarterback. Read that carefully, I did not say he will never be fit to be an NFL quarterback. As we sit here on September 10, 2008, Kerry Collins is a better option for the Titans. That would be the case even if Vince Young did not have an injured knee.
Now to this statement from his mom; Come on Felicia. Did you really think that was going to help? And please, don't use words like persecute. I don't think I need to run through a list of the people in history that have been persecuted. What your "baby boy" (and that description is 100% accurate) is going through right now is not persecution. All he needed to do to win over this fanbase is to keep playing with the same fire that he did his rookie season. Sure there were some people that were still saying negative things, but the majority of those 68,000 people that showed up on Sundays were screaming there heads off for him.
And if he thinks the media is tough here, he should take some time and see what Eli Manning was going through in New York before he won the Super Bowl last year. How many negative pieces have you seen written by The Tennessean or The City Paper since he has been here? I bet you can count them on one hand.
And for the growing-up process, I am sick of hearing about that from his camp. I understand he is only 25 years old, but you give up the right to use that as an excuse when you sign a contract with an NFL team for millions of dollars. You might as well be signing away your childhood to become a man. You are now paid to do a job like eveyone else in America. Sure, more people are paying attention to how you do your job every week than most of us, but you are also making a dang lot more money than most of us. As a caller said on the radio this morning, it is time to pull up your big boy britches and go to work.
There also better not be another story about him wanting to walk away from football. I am sure there are a ton of highly successful NFL players who have thought about hanging it up in tough times, but you don't hear it from them in the media. No one respects a quitter. If you want to quit so bad, write a check to the Titans for the rest of the money they gave you up front and walk away.
In high school and college it was all about Vince. It isn't like that in the NFL. When he was going through tough times in college, Mack Brown called him in and said they would design there entire offensive scheme so that he would be comfortable. That isn't going to happen with any team in the NFL, especially not the Titans. It is time for him to take the steps to learn from his coaches what it takes to be successful at this level.
What happens now? In the immediate future, Collins is the quarterback of this team. VY has to use this time while his knee is healing to get himself together mentally. I don't think he should automatically be given the job back when he is healthy. While they will never say this publicly, the team (coaches and players) have lost confidence in him. He needs to earn that back before he is annointed the starting quarterback, and that has more to do with his mental state than his performance on the field.
What do we do now? We cheer for the Titans against the Bengals on Sunday. This will be my last mention of Vince Young and his mental state until he is healthy enough to be back on the field.