How the Titans should use V.Y.
Now that Vince Young has been named the starter for this weekend’s game in Nashville against the Jags, we can actually look forward to some football from the former first-round draft pick.
We are all going to have opinions on this move, as I did earlier this week after Tennessee owner Bud Adams publicly lobbied for Young to get back on the field. But that is basically a moot point now—because V.Y. is the new starter.
And Kerry Collins, the same quarterback who received an extension this offseason, is back on the bench.
A role reversal indeed for Collins, but as we remember, this is the exact situation the Titans were in last season—at home against Jacksonville, before Young showed some signs of immaturity and was benched for the season.
What about this time around. And what do we expect? There is no possible way to forecast how V.Y. will play this Sunday, as the only game action we can look at from this season is the preseason tape. However, it would be wise of the Titans’ offensive coaching staff to tailor their game plan for this Sunday around Young, and design situations to help the quarterback.
How do you do that? Well, for starters, let’s see the Titans employ some movement passes in the game plan. By that, I mean the boot, play action, the sprint out, etc. Anything that will get Young out of the pocket where I believe he is at his best. Allow him to create plays and use his athletic ability—because you didn’t have that with Collins.
In the vertical passing game, set up plays for Young. Use the running game of Chris Johnson and LenDale White to give V.Y. some easy opportunities to throw the ball down the field by creating those one-on-one matchups outside the numbers. But, to do that, the Titans must establish the running game early in the first quarter and force Jacksonville to bring an eighth defender down into the box. The last thing you would want to see as a Titans fan is Young standing in the pocket and trying to throw downfield against the Jags when they drop seven into coverage.
Still, what I see as the most important aspect in game planning for the Titans is to keep V.Y. out of third-and-long situations—especially when he has to force throws into coverage to make a play. First and second down runs, complimented by the short-to- intermediate passing game can set up manageable third-down situations. That is what you want to see from this offense.
Sure, there will be a time in this game when V.Y. has to make a play, but that is no different than what the Jags expect out of David Garrard. However, with a QB who hasn’t started a game this season, the transition back to the field is always helped by a game plan that caters to his strengths.
It just makes sense from a competitive standpoint. Yes, I want to see how Young responds just as much as the next guy. I want to see the highlight reel plays and the athleticism that put Young in the first round of the draft, but the Titans want a win in the worst way.
And that is why they are making the switch, right?
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