According to the upcoming September issue of Esquire, Tennessee Titans backup quarterback Vince Young said that he believes he will be the next black quarterback to win a Super Bowl and be voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
"I don't know when I'll start again, but I will be the next black quarterback to win a Super Bowl. And I will be in the Hall of Fame," said Young.
Adversity has a way of making people say the boldest things. For Young, adversity has became a rallying cry on Thursday.
"There's nothing wrong for me to feel like I felt. That's how I feel," Young said. "And with the history of African-Americans in the Super Bowl, it's been a long time. I just want to be one of the guys that works hard and wants to get to the Super Bowl. And I don't see what's wrong with having confidence in myself to do that."
Young's words are dripping with confidence, but can they be taken seriously?
There's no question that Young has the athletic ability and desire to play quarterback, but does he has the mental capacity to become only the fourth African-American starting quarterback in the Super Bowl?
If last year's season home opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars was any indication, than Young is clearly not ready to take the next step.
Young heard the boo birds from Titans fans as he threw two interceptions and played inconsistent football. Later in the fourth quarter, he was injured and was replaced by journeymen quarterback Kerry Collins, to much of the fans' delight. Collins would lead the Titans to an NFL-best 13-3 record and the AFC South crown, with Young riding the pine.
Young was dejected, and his confidence was noticeably shaken the rest of the season.
Doug Williams, who won Super Bowl XXII as the starting quarterback for the Washington Redskins, heard all of the negativity surrounding the color of his skin. So too did the late Steve McNair (who led the Titans to Super Bowl XXXIV) and Donovan McNabb (who led the Eagles to Super Bowl XXXIX).
Young has all the talent in the world to be a great NFL quarterback one day, but consistency has been his biggest weakness since the Titans took him with the third overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft.
He has thrown more interceptions (30) than touchdowns (17) in three seasons as a starting quarterback, but is 18-11 in games that he has started at quarterback for the Titans.
In order for Young to return under center for the Titans, he must first unseat Collins—which is going to be a difficult task because of Collins' leadership and strong play last year. Collins has the necessary tools to lead the Titans to the Super Bowl.
Lastly, Young must show that he has mentally toughened up and grown up since 2008, because quarterback is a tough job to handle.
The quarterback is the top spot on the football team, and a position in which the joy of winning and the heartache of losing go hand and hand. Quarterbacks are always criticized for their play by fans and football "experts", and that won't change.
Young needs to swallow his pride and take his lumps. The African-American quarterbacks who've started in Super Bowls and laid the foundation in order for him to play had to.
By doing that, who knows? He may end up winning a Super Bowl, or be the second African-American quarterback elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame (joining Warren Moon).
For now, we'll just wait and see.
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