Vince Young Needs to Impress in Last Chance to Salvage Career

Nick KostosContributor IAugust 18, 2013

Aug 9, 2013; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Vince Young (13) throws a pass during warmups prior to the game against the Arizona Cardinals at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

He is one of the greatest college football players of all time and the primary author of the most pulse-pounding national championship game in recent memory. He is a former top-three pick in the NFL draft. He owns a 31-19 career record as a starting quarterback in the National Football League.

He is current Green Bay Packers backup quarterback Vince Young. And he's on his last chance to resurrect what's devolved into a moribund career.

Remember when Young was the toast of the town? He was an all-time great on the college level at the University of Texas and the apple of Titans owner Bud Adams' eye. When Adams made Young the third overall pick of the 2006 draft, against the wishes of coach Jeff Fisher, Young instantly became the face of the franchise.

Young had on-field success as a Titan, but off the field, he clashed with Fisher. He was immature and seemed like he didn't have a semblance of how to handle life as a big-time quarterback in the NFL. That attitude cost Young his job in Tennessee, as the Titans jettisoned him following the 2010 season.

His release from Tennessee was the beginning of a downward spiral that is equal parts stunning and depressing.

Prior to the 2011 season, Young signed with the Philadelphia Eagles as the primary backup to quarterback Michael Vick. While he actually played decently when forced into action, including defeating the eventual Super Bowl champion Giants, his most memorable moment as an Eagle might have been his infamous christening of the squad as the "dream team." The Eagles finished the campaign 8-8 and missed the postseason.

That offseason, the Eagles didn't bring him back, a telling sign when they employed an oft-injured starter in Vick. From there, he signed with the Buffalo Bills to back up Ryan Fitzpatrick and seemed to be a good fit in then-coach Chan Gailey's offense. 

But Young was released by Buffalo when it traded for Seahawks quarterback Tarvaris Jackson. Consider that fact for a moment. Young, a college legend, a former top-three pick in the NFL draft, was released to make room for Tarvaris Jackson. It seemed to be the death knell for Young's career.

But, surprisingly, this offseason, the Green Bay Packers and coach Mike McCarthy came calling, signing Young to compete for the backup job behind Aaron Rodgers

Make no mistake about it. This is Young's last chance to salvage his career.

The Packers provide the perfect refuge for Young. McCarthy is as talented a quarterback coach as there is, and Rodgers is the consummate professional. If Young were ever to put it together, Lambeau would be the place.

Through two preseason games, Young has completed only six of 12 passes for 33 yards. In Saturday night's 19-7 win over St. Louis, Young failed to stand out and watched as fellow backup B.J. Coleman tossed a fourth-quarter touchdown pass. 

The next few weeks could be the final act of Young's NFL drama. If he can't play better in the final two preseason games, it's certainly feasible that the Packers could opt to keep Coleman and Graham Harrell and set Young loose. If that happens, the curtain will likely drop.

For a man whose star once shined brighter than almost everyone's, it would be a disappointing end to what was once a promising NFL career.