In another incident, this one being comments made during an interview for a Baltimore TV station, once-heralded wunderkind Vince Young is quickly demonstrating that on field play is only one element of success in the NFL.
Without the maturity to handle adversity, the mental toughness to handle hard times, and the maturity, tact, and flat-out brains to know when to speak out, what to say, what NOT to say, and when to bloody well shut the heck up, VY is continuing to show this particular football fan that he is not anywhere close to ready for a starting position in the National Football League.
First there was the pouting. Booed by fans after throwing an interception, Young initially refused to reenter a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Apparently his feelings were hurt, and this was how he was going to show the fans that booing was just not acceptable to him.
Coach Fisher finally was able to cajole Young to re-enter the game, and four plays later he suffered a knee injury that was to end his run as the starting quarterback for the Titans.
Then there was the breakdown. One day after being booed, getting injured, and losing his starting position—admittedly a bad day by most standards—a distraught VY left his Nashville home without a phone, without telling anyone in the Titans organization where he was going, and—oh yeah—with a gun in his possession.
It was later revealed by VY's therapist—why he needed a therapist after only two seasons in the NFL is becoming clearer—that he had mentioned suicide several times prior to his disappearance.
Then, after a season of supposed humility and learning, VY was informed that Kerry Collins, the man who stepped into "his" job and had a renaissance year in leading the Titans to the playoffs, would be named the starting quarterback for the Titans, but that Vince would be expected to eventually become the leader he was drafted to be, possibly winning the job back from Collins at some point ion the future.
Apparently earning the job back wasn't in Vince's plans. Just one week after former Titans star Steve McNair publicly stated that he was beginning to see signs of maturity in Young, and scarcely one month after telling reporters that he was ready to back Collins up, be ready when needed, and "keep my mouth shut and play my role", VY has had a change of heart.
Speaking with WMAR out of Baltimore, Vince said that not only was he ready to get back on the field, but that if the Titans were not as ready for him to play as he was to get back out there, then "it's time for me to make a career change for myself."
Head coach Jeff Fisher has already gone on record as "not paying attention to it," although I for one am not quite sure I buy it. I also don't buy his suggestion that Young was "led on a little bit". He is supposed to have matured, learned that he has to earn his position, and be willing to step up and fill what role the team needs him to fill.
Apparently he is still immature enough to let a beat reporter egg him into a public outburst.
Honestly, if this continues throughout the season, VY will be nothing more than a locker room disturbance and a sideline distraction. If he wants the starting job back, he needs to do what he claimed he was ready to do last month: shut his mouth, play his role, earn his job back, and most of all, grow up.
If he can't, or won't, do that—if he is intent upon being a Terrell Owens, Keyshawn Johnson, Adam "Pac-Man" Jones, Chad Johnson (I refuse to call him by his "other " name) type of player—then he needs to go.
Sooner rather than later, Titans. I hear Minnesota is looking for someone, and the last guy they talked to decided to stay retired.