What do we make of Vince Young and the Titans right now?
Are they really going to continue this run, make a late season push and actually find themselves playing on wild-card weekend?
Actually, it isn’t that far of a stretch. Surely not when you have Chris Johnson in the backfield (whom I could make a case for as the league’s best running back), a defense that is getting to the quarterback and stopping the run, and a coach in Jeff Fisher who seems to amaze us every year with his ability to handle adversity when it surrounds his team.
But, where does V.Y. fit in?
The reason I ask is because of the simple fact that I was wrong about him. I was very stern in my opinion this offseason that Kerry Collins was the right choice for this team at the quarterback position, but these last four weeks have changed my mind when it comes to Young—because it goes against everything that is considered conventional football in the NFL.
The problem with quarterbacks at this level when it comes to analysis is that we always want to compare them to the Tom Brady’s, the Peyton Manning’s and the Carson Palmer’s—conventional drop-back NFL quarterbacks who plant on that fifth step and throw the ball into tight windows or down the field.
But, Young just isn’t that. He is a “wild card” of sorts when it comes to the position. Think about it. Last night in the Titans’ 20-17 win over the Texans (with help from Michael Lombardi’s favorite kicker, Kris Brown), Tennessee actually ran the triple option. Yes, the same play you see at your local high school or at the Naval Academy or Georgia Tech.
It is forbidden football at this level because of the quarterback position, but Young changes that. He is an athlete playing QB, and just like we have grown accustomed to when it comes to the Dolphins, there is a place for creative football at the NFL level if you have the personnel and the guts to run it as a coach.
I will agree that the NFL is generic when it comes to offense, and that is why schools such as USC are always thought of first when it comes to QBs. They run a pro-set offense, and the scouts drool over their prospects because they too want the next Carson Palmer—6-5 with a pro arm to throw the deep out and the deep comeback with ease; not a side-arm release like we see with V.Y.
But, as we are seeing, there is a place for the Vince Young’s of the football world. Movement passes, the option, the QB sweep, the QB draw. They work just as they do at the high school and college level when you have that type of QB under center, like the next in line, Florida’s Tim Tebow.
Yes, Vince Young will most likely never be mentioned in the same discussion with Peyton or Brady, and he will most likely never throw for 300-plus yards in back-to-back weeks or have the stats that Pro Bowl voters love to see, but he is the right fit at this moment for the Titans.
Young is also leading the Titans back into the playoff discussion because he doesn’t have to drop back to five yards and throw the ball 65 yards downfield to win.
No, instead, V.Y., Chris Johnson and Fisher are doing it their own way—and there isn’t a team in this league who wants to play them right now.
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Check out the Tennessee Titans team page at the NFP.