The Rams need a big play receiver, Titus Young has all the potential to be a big play receiver in the NFL. Therefore, the Rams decided to claim the 23-year-old off waivers earlier this week. Sounds like a great move, right?
That could not be further from the truth.
To put things nicely and without using any profane language, Titus Young is an immature, self-centered moron.
He does not care about his team, he does not care what other people think about him; all he cares about is himself.
Young was put on waivers by the Detroit Lions this season for these exact reasons. Detroit selected him with the 44th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, and hoped he would be a great receiver to compliment Calvin Johnson. I, for one, thought it was great pick for Detroit. Young has great speed, an ability to create separation from defenders, and an ability to go up and catch the ball in traffic.
Those skills are the qualities of an outstanding NFL receiver.
Young also has a great ability to run his mouth and do really stupid stuff.
When Titus Young played at Boise State in college, he was sent home twice from practice during his sophomore season and eventually found himself suspended for the rest of the year by Boise State head coach Chris Petersen. The suspension came after Young got into an altercation with a teammate during the season.
At the Senior Bowl in 2011, scouts acknowledged what a star Young is on the field, but according to Dan Pompei, teams were concerned about Young because "his interviews were a little concerning".
Even with the concerns, Detroit decided to roll the dice and hope that Young would get his act together.
He certainly did not.
Young's rookie season went alright with the Lions. There were a few incidents, but nothing major that caused any huge red flags to be raised. The same cannot be said about Young's second season in the NFL.
In May, Young was sent home from practice for punching safety Louis Delmas. In the season opener against the Rams, Young was benched in the third quarter for headbutting rookie cornerback Janoris Jenkins. We will revisit this event later.
Once again in November, Young was benched in a game against the Green Bay Packers. The reason: he intentionally lined up in the wrong spots in an attempt to sabotage the Detroit offense.
I could go on and on with Titus Young's childish theatrics, but to sum things up, we'll just say that he was extremely whiny throughout the rest of the season. He sent out numerous immature tweets, and even told his high school coach, E.C. Robinson, around Christmas time that "he was just as good as Megatron".
Just as good as Megatron?
The same Megatron who caught 122 passes this season for 1,964 yards and five touchdowns. The same Megatron who just broke the single season record for receiving yards.
Come on Titus, you really cannot believe that.
Apparently he is dead serious though. So not only is he an immature, self-centered moron, but he is also delusional.
So, after all the events I described, why do the Rams what this guy?
It's not like the Rams do not know about his troubled past.
One of the biggest things people have said is that head coach Jeff Fisher is good at turning these troubled players around. The most recent example is rookie cornerback Janoris Jenkins.
There is a big difference between Jenkins and Young, though. Jenkins' issues were classified as off the field issues. The Rams sat down and conducted numerous interviews with Janoris. They saw a young man who was willing to turn his life around because playing in the NFL was important to him. Jenkins got a financial advisor to help him manage his money and has largely stayed out of trouble while playing for the Rams through one season.
The Rams had a slight incident with Jenkins and rookie wide receiver Chris Givens this season, for breaking undisclosed team rules, but things were quickly worked out. Givens and Jenkins were both required to run stairs at Candlestick Park during pregame warmups and neither was allowed to participate in the game. The Rams have not had any incidents with either player since.
Give the Rams and Jenkins a lot of credit for turning his life around. He wanted to play in the NFL and he has taken the steps necessary to make that dream become a reality.
Titus Young is already in the NFL, though, and his antics have continued. These are not just off the field issues either, Young has issues with his teammates as well. It is a completely different situation then that of Jenkins.
Titus Young is without a doubt going to have trouble with his teammates in St. Louis as well. Let's revisit the headbutting of Jenkins once again. You have two young guys, one of them very immature, and you want these two guys practicing together?
There is no doubt that when the Rams practice, Jenkins and Young are going to have to run some drills together.
Does anybody else see this as a bad idea?
The Rams have done a great job with Jenkins so far, but isn't it a little crazy to throw Titus Young in the picture now as well? I cannot imagine how those two are going to make it through an entire season without a major conflict coming up. They met on the field in one game and Young headbutted Jenkins already, and we know Titus Young has no problem attacking his own teammates. The guy has already done it at least twice in his past, and there could be more incidents that we do not know about.
What about Young and his offensive teammates?
Young had an increased role with the Lions this season, and still complained about his playing time, and about how much he wanted the ball to go to him more. Could you imagine what it would be like in St. Louis?
This guy already thinks he is better than Calvin Johnson, the best receiver in the NFL and one of the best in the history of the game. How much trouble would he stir up with the Rams receivers?
Receiving is not exactly a strength for St. Louis, and do we really want Titus Young coming in and talking about how great he is and how all the other receivers on the Rams are not nearly as good as him? Once again, this does not sound like a good idea at all.
Titus Young has the ability to be a supreme NFL talent, but to use a proverbial phrase, he is a cancer to a locker room. The Rams have done a great job rebuilding their team so far, and the last guy they need to bring in is an idiot who is just going to create chaos.
Titus Young's immaturity on and off the field will outshine the talent he has, just like it has done for his entire career. The Rams really should not be bringing this guy in, because as much as we might want Titus Young to turn into a good guy and a star receiver on the field, we all really know what's going to happen.
History repeats itself, and Titus Young's story is no different.