Titans quarterback Vince Young has had a tough go of it recently. First, he played poorly in the season-opener against the Jags, got booed by the hometown crowd, and suffered a knee injury that will keep him out 2-4 weeks. And then things got weird: depending on who’s telling the story, after the game, Young left the stadium depressed, disappeared for a few hours (he didn’t have his cell phone with him, the horror!), and possibly talked of killing himself.
Head coach Jeff Fisher refuted many of the rumors but admitted that Young has to work through his off-field issues before he can resume throwing interceptions for the Titans. In the meantime, that chore belongs to Kerry Collins. But more than just getting mentally and physically healthy, Young will apparently have to earn the trust of his teammates who, according to SI.COM’s Peter King, aren’t convinced he’s much of a leader.
One final quote about Young, from someone I’ll call Deep Titan, someone inside the organization: “Vince definitely is going to have to win the locker room back. As bad as Pacman [Jones] was when he left the building or at 3 o’clock in the morning, it never interfered with his football. He loved football. Loved practice. The guys loved him. Players are going to be on your side if you show that you’re going to help them win. Vince has to prove that to this team.”
Think about that for a second; “Adam” Pacman Jones is more mentally stable — and a better teammate — than Vince Young. The same Vince Young who singlehandedly beat USC in the 2006 National Championship game and was the third-overall pick in the NFL draft. And the same Pacman Jones who took a forced vacation from professional football and used the time to tour some of the country’s finest gentlemen’s clubs.
I’m not sure if this says more about Jones or Young — maybe Adam isn’t as bad as he seems (one Vegas bouncer might disagree) and there’s a lot about Vince we don’t know — but if Tennessee hopes to make a legit run at the postseason, they’re going to need Young. I mean, Collins is a solid backup, but he’s not the guy you rest your Super Bowl hopes on. Not unless it’s 2000 and you’re the Baltimore Ravens, anyway.