The Latest Buzz from Vince Young's Pro Day: Can Ex-Eagles QB Still Play?
The Texas Longhorns held their pro day on March 26, and while youngsters such as potential first-round pick Kenny Vaccaro were on hand to showcase their talents, it was an old man that stole the show.
Well, relatively old, anyway.
By most accounts, the 29-year-old acquitted himself fairly well. Gil Brandt of NFL.com reported that the former NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year "put on a show" and was "magnificent" throwing the ball both on the run and in the pocket, and that some of Young's throws to wideout Marquise Goodwin "drew 'oohs' and 'aahs' from the crowd."
Brandt wasn't the only one that came away impressed by Young's workout.
The fact is Vince Young looks good out here throwing today. He should be on a NFL team no doubt. Cld be a starter for some. Looks trim too— RosterWatch (@RosterWatch) March 26, 2013
Vince Young was the biggest surprise, looked in best shape of career, threw better than most at the Combine.— RosterWatch (@RosterWatch) March 26, 2013
Those sentiments were echoed by ESPN's Calvin Watkins.
Vince Young looked pretty good with some strong, sharp throws. He threw on the indoor and outdoor practice fields.— Calvin Watkins (@calvinwatkins) March 26, 2013
All indications are that the workout went about as well as Young could have hoped. However, for his part, Young told Brandt that he's simply trying to take things one step at a time: "I think I did OK. Mostly it was just being here for the guys. That was my mindset and just showing the rest of the scouts that I'm still training and staying in shape."
Bleacher Report NFL Lead Writer Matt Miller wasn't at the workout, but after reading accounts of Young's showing, he raised a very interesting point.
Everything I've read and heard coming out of Austin today is that Vince Young looks great. Can't imagine there are 64 better QBs.— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) March 26, 2013
A quick look at depth charts around the National Football League would seem to bear that out. Are the likes of Ryan Lindley or Scott Tolzien really better than Vince Young?
The problem is, it's not as simple as one solid workout under favorable conditions.
We already knew that Vince Young was a mobile quarterback with more than adequate arm strength. That's hardly news.
Granted, it's good to hear that Young was in shape, and that his velocity and accuracy were both strong on Tuesday. However, it's dangerous to take too much from one workout under favorable conditions.
Especially when the things we really needed to see can't be shown in one workout.
What truly derailed Vince Young's NFL career was a lack of maturity, and either the inability or unwillingness to adjust to the complexities of the NFL compared to the college game.
The former is still very much up for debate. Yes, Young recently told the NFL Network via ESPN that he sent a letter to former Tennessee Titans and current St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher, to apologize for his missteps while the two were together in Nashville.
That would seem to indicate that Young is "growing up". Then you read the report by Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk claiming that one of the reasons Young is broke is that he had his financial adviser take out a $300,000 loan.
So that Young could throw himself a 28th birthday party.
Young disputes that being the reason for the loan, and granted it was two years ago, but potential NFL suitors have to wonder how much of "that" Vince Young is still around.
So far as his knowledge of the game and mechanics go, Young told Brandt that's what he's been honing during his year away from the game.
That's my craft...That's all I do in the offseason. Mechanics. When it's time for me to get ready for the season, I'm so focused on the plays, the preparation, you don't want to be thinking about footwork when you get with the team.
It's awfully hard to gauge the veracity of that statement from one throwing session, and frankly there's only one way to truly do it.
Bring Vince Young into training camp, or at least in for another workout.
Will Vince Young play in the NFL in 2013?
Rest assured, some NFL team is going to do just that. Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com reports that the Oakland Raiders have had "preliminary" discussions about having Young work out for them. The Arizona Cardinals, who spent most of last year orbiting the fifth circle of bad quarterback hell, are just one of a number of teams that could do the same.
For all his flaws, Vince Young also possesses more than a little athletic ability, and mobile quarterbacks are very much in vogue in the NFL. One of those workouts is bound to go well enough to get Young a contract, albeit likely a small one with little to no guaranteed money.
And that's all he wants, with Young telling Brandt that he's "just hoping for that blessing and opportunity."
He took a big step towards getting that opportunity at Texas' pro day.
What Vince Young does with it from here will be up to him.
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