JOE BIDDLE: End of the line for Vince Young? - WKRN News 2

JOE BIDDLE: End of the line for Vince Young?


Vince Young was in the news this week.

Days after announcing the former Titans quarterback had won the backup position for the Buffalo Bills, the NFL team cut him and traded for journeyman Tarvaris Jackson.

So Young has been kicked to the curb again. This could be his last stop, although the Green Bay Packers are said to be considering picking him up.

I just hope Young is selling a lot of $42 filet mignons at the Vince Young Steakhouse.

Young was the third player taken in the 2006 NFL draft. After being named Offensive Rookie of the Year, it would be the pinnacle of Young's time with the Titans.

He had problems on the field. He had emotional issues off the field. The Titans cut their losses after Young and then-coach Jeff Fisher could not co-exist. A coach on Fisher's staff told me Young quit on the team four times that last season. Two of them were public, including him cussing Fisher and walking out of the locker room after a loss.

Young landed in Philadelphia last season, as a backup to Michael Vick. If a quarterback could be rehabilitated, Eagles Coach Andy Reid was the one who could do it.

After a disappointing season, the Eagles let him go.

Chan Gailey took a chance on him in Buffalo.

Against the Steelers in last week's preseason game, Young threw a risky, across the field pass under pressure. Interception. Bad decision.

He would throw another interception in the game where he played the second half. He was 12 of 26 for 103 yards in the 38-7 loss. After three months of trying to master the Bills playbook, Young flunked out.

"He had the offense down with his thought processes, but you have to be consistent in all that, too,'' Gailey told the Buffalo media.
"That's where we just didn't see the consistency.''

The word on Young here was that he couldn't process the playbook and take it from the meeting room to the football field. He simply didn't know, or understand, the playbook.

Teammates knew it, but never went public with it. They lost confidence in him and Fisher and his staff knew it.

It appears that followed him to Philadelphia and Buffalo.

He is not the only one who has struggled with NFL playbooks.

Former Redskins quarterback Heath Shuler was another high draft pick that bombed out of the league because of the same shortcoming.

So Shuler went into real estate and became a Congressman. Go figure.

There aren't any NFL offenses that allow quarterbacks to freelance to the degree Young and Shuler did in college. Today's NFL defenses are complex and quarterbacks have to win the chess games.

"Vince did everything he could,'' Bills General Manager Buddy Nix said. "He worked hard at it. He did everything we asked him to do.

"I don't want to get into what he can and can't do, it just didn't work out. We just need to move on.''

That is coach speak that Young doesn't possess a high football IQ, and you can't play quarterback in this league without one.

Young wowed Titans owner Bud Adams with his awesome athletic ability. He had what I consider the best performance in the national championship game of any quarterback before or after him.

But that's doesn't guarantee success at the next level. In college, you play for rings and trophies. In the NFL you are playing for houses, yachts and luxury cars.

"I'm not going to say this is it (for Young), but I haven't been high on Vince Young for a long time,'' said ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith on First Take with Skip Bayless.

Young always puts on a happy face during trying times.

In a recent tweet, VY informed his fans he would probably "be in Austin this weekend to support our ‘Horns and to enjoy the best steakhouse in Austin.''

In another tweet, he was typical Vince: "Just know VY is OK. I'm use(sic) to it….''

It's doubtful Vince Young will ever get it. He can put on a brave face, but no one likes to be told he is not wanted.

And Vince Young has now had three strikes.

Contact Sports Columnist Joe Biddle at

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