Two weeks ago, any questions concerning the relationship between Tennessee Titans head coach Jeff Fisher and star quarterback Vince Young were supposedly put to rest when Fisher as much as embraced Young after a particularly dazzling scoring drive against the Miami Dolphins.
But don't be fooled, folks. This story is FAR from over.
After a horrendous showing on Christmas Day that decisively removed the Titans from playoff contention, Young's stock fell with his new BFF.
So far, in fact, that when asked in a press conference if Vince Young had done enough to secure his spot as the future of the Tennessee Titans, Coach Fisher steadfastly refused to answer.
This is a far cry from the coach who, during an unexplainable 0-6 slide to start the season, often offered before being asked that Kerry Collins was the Titans starter, no questions about it.
His refusal—not avoidance, refusal —to answer the simple question about Vince Young's future is nothing if not an invitation to ask an even bigger question: what does Fisher already know?
Have the Titans already begun back-door dealings to get Young out of town as soon as the season is over?
There are other teams out there who could use his skills—ironically, Miami and their "Wildcat" offense come immediately to mind—and Young is already on record as saying he wants to be played or traded.
If Tennessee isn't enamored with Young yet, then others are sure to be.
On a side note, Chris Johnson has more than done enough to establish himself as the man around whom the offense should be built. As LenDale White found out rather painfully this year, there is only room in the Titans backfield for one star runner.
Could it be that Fisher and Co. are beginning to see that?
Is there a deal in place to find Collins a home, somewhere that he can finish out his career in relative ease, albeit in relative obscurity, something many Titans fans would have little problem with?
Is Fisher refusing to answer any quarterback questions out of some sense of loyalty to Collins?
Or, perish the thought, is Collins going to be given yet another chance to compete for the top spot on the roster next year?
Is Fisher's job in the lurch? After all these years at the helm, have he and owner Bud Adams come to loggerheads they cannot break? Is this why he won't answer? Does he truly not know because he has not been involved in whatever is going on?
Even worse (or better, if some of the less educated and more fickle fans had their way), has he already been informed of his demise as the Titans leader? Has Bud already told him that the screwup this year was too much to forgive?
Is it possible that Bud Adams' interference in football operations, vis-a-vis his insistence that Young be given the top spot to see what he had to offer, violated some term of Fisher's contract that gives him ultimate decision-making authority, and Fisher himself has already thrown down the gauntlet concerning his position in Nashville?
One thing we do know is that history seems to be repeating itself. In round one, Vince Young stepped in and took over from Collins after an ineffective start and led the Titans to an 8-8 record.
The following year, Young led them to a record of 10-6, only to fall to the San Diego Chargers in the first round of the playoffs.
The next year, Young fell to injury, was replaced by Collins, and seemed to fall out emotionally and mentally from the injury, the demotion, and the fickleness of disgruntled fans, not to mention Collins' success under center as the Titans ran up a league-leading 13-3 record.
Now, round two has commenced: Young has taken over for Collins and led the Titans to an 8-8 record.
Is it possible that Fisher fears this pattern will repeat?
Stay tuned, fans. More is sure to unfold next week.
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