What the hell happened to Vince Young?
Here was a 6-foot-5, 220-plus pound quarterback that moved like Michael Vick, had the arm strength of Peyton Manning and led his Texas Longhorns to a victory over the giants known as USC.
Where did that Vince Young go?
Currently, Young is competing, yes COMPETING, for one of 53 roster spots with the Green Bay Packers.
Let me put that into clearer text for you:
Behind Aaron Rodgers, the Packers will likely select two quarterbacks to keep after the preseason is done. One as the for-sure backup, while another could be headed to what teams call the “practice squad.”
Right now, as we stand, Young is battling with BJ Coleman and Graham Harrell for two of those three places.
Harrell, for all known purposes, will likely be the No. 2, leaving Young to duke it out with Coleman.
A former Tennessee player that was passed over and forced to attend an even smaller school in college.
As the ESPN NFL Countdown team would say, “Come on, man!”
Young won two Rose Bowl MVPs, was the AP NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2006, played in two Pro Bowls and appeared poised for a long run as an elite NFL signal caller.
However, after the Titans parted ways with him, Young has bounced around from the Philadelphia Eagles, to the Buffalo Bills to his current team. Heck, Young wasn’t even technically a member of the Bills; he was on the “practice squad.”
If there is ever a place to resurrect your career, Green Bay is it.
No pressure to start, as that all falls on the shoulders of Rodgers.
You can learn from him, and head coach Mike McCarthy, and re-develop your game to suit the new NFL.
Young, though, hasn’t been able to do that through the early stages of the preseason. He has completed 50-percent of his passes for 33 yards. He is 6-for-12, which means he is averaging just under three yards per attempt.
Not going to cut it Mr. Texas, not going to cut it at all.
Maybe we should have saw this one coming, as Young scored a six on his NFL Draft Wonderlic score. The best is a 50, so anything in single digits really is a low, low grade.
Still, he appeared on the right track after helping the Titans to eight wins his rookie season. He directed three consecutive fourth quarter comebacks and even went to the Pro Bowl as an injury replacement.
The following year, behind Young, Tennessee reached the playoffs; a good indicator of the abilities he possessed as an NFL quarterback. Young wasn’t very effective in terms of numbers, but he got the job done and made plays when they mattered the most.
However, the train started derailing in 2008 after Young suffered a knee injury. Sure, he returned to the field after some instances by the Titan owner in defense of him vs. head coach Jeff Fisher, but that just began an issue between those two that would grow bigger and bigger over the next couple of seasons.
Fisher is a hard-nosed style of coach, cut from the same mold as Bill Cowher, Vince Lombardi, Chuck Noll; they want guys to listen to what they say, do what they are told and perform. Simple enough, but Young wasn’t like players before him.
He was a superstar. The man. Mr. Texas. Mr. Tennessee.
Well, after the 2010 season, without the support of his head coach or owner anymore, Young was released. A sudden fall for someone destined to become the next great quarterback.
Rusty Smith, a name you probably need to Google to learn anything about, replaced Young at one point.
He signed with the Eagles and declared there would be a “Dream Team” with him at the helm. Yeah, not quite, as they won just four games. A stop in Buffalo resulted in nothing but another release.
So, now we arrive in Green Bay. Two weeks left in the preseason to show something, prove your worth, secure a roster spot.
Maybe the old Vince Young never returns, but we will at least have the memories and highlights to look back upon for years to come and say, “Hey, whatever happened to that guy?”