I've always been a huge supporter of Jeff Fisher and of Vince Young since he entered the league. I've defended both numerous times, but it's time to change that right now.
While I still greatly support both of them, it's become evident that there's trust issues between the two, or at least, Fisher has trust issues with Vince Young.
Looking at the Titans, you'd simply think nothing is wrong. 2-1 to start the season, defense improved, things looking solid.
But past that, it's gone sour.
There's no doubting the all-pro talent that is Chris Johnson and there is no doubting that he should get quite a few touches a game, but when teams are putting eight and nine men in the box, it's time to stop handing it off and go elsewhere.
Let's take an in depth look at things.
Week 1 Vs. Raiders
Chris Johnson carries the ball 27 times, had 142 yards for a 5.3 average. However, outside of his monster 76 yard run, that total goes down to 26 carries for 66 yards and 2.5 average.
You'd think, looking at that, they'd stop giving it to him so much, right?
However, Vince Young was only allowed to throw it 17 times, despite completing 13 of those, and ended up with two touchdowns. Three of those incompletions weren't even inaccurate throws: one was a throw away, one was a miscommunication between VY and Nate Washington, and the next was a knock away/sorta drop by Gage after a perfectly thrown pass.
So taking that away, Vince Young was 13-for-14 with 154 yards passing (would equal out to a 11 ypa), two TD, and no interceptions. His one real "bad play" of that game was fumbling after he got hit from behind.
Week 2 Vs. Steelers
This game, mainly offensively, for the Titans was an absolute train wreck. CJ did have one long run, though it was called back because of holding, but outside of that he carried the ball 16 times for 34 yards and 2.1 average.
Vince Young was 7-for-10 with two INT and a fumble lost. Obviously, the game wasn't going well for Vince. However, he got pulled for Kerry Collins, despite the fact that Vince Young has an amazing history of being able to bring the Titans back late in the game especially the 4th quarter.
Now, once Kerry comes in, he throws it 25 times—this, the same Kerry Collins that could do no better than some stat lines like 2-for-12 for -7 yards against the New England Patriots in 2009.
Some may argue that Kerry only threw it 25 times because we were behind. Well I say, if Chris is getting stopped behind the line of scrimmage or only after two or three yard gains at the most, why not let Vince Young throw it? What do you have to lose? Let him play through the game, and as I've stated already, it's by no means rare for him to put together a come from behind victory.
Week 3 Vs. Giants
CJ runs 32 times for 125 yards and a 3.9 average. He has a long of 42. Take that away, it's 31 carries for 83 yards and a 2.6.
Again, you think, if the run isn't working, let VY throw it, right?
Well, Vince only gets to throw it 16 total times, completing 10 of them. Three of the incompletions were accurate passes: One to Craig Stevens got hit and dropped it, one to Ahmard Hall, which was a TD, was ruled an incompletion, and Fisher didn't challenge it (in all fairness though, it wasn't a good pass by VY, but he had pressure right in his face). Finally, on the incompletion to Kenny Britt, the safety just made a perfect play.
People often make the argument, "Well, CJ will eventually break one, so just keep giving it to him." Yeah, CJ has game-breaking speed, but when nine men are in the box, it's won't do you much good to hand it off. One long run out of 32 isn't cutting it, ESPECIALLY when your QB is playing well and is throwing accurate passes.
Some make the argument, "Maybe Vince isn't ready, or they don't want to test him too much." Well, if we're ever going to find out if Vince is truly an NFL QB who can lead a team to a Super Bowl, it has to be this year. Babying him is no longer an excuse. It's simply a trust issue.
Vince Young did have a bad game vs. the Steelers, but as pointed out by some, Peyton Manning's first game vs. against the Dick LeBeau/Pittsburgh defense wasn't too good either, throwing three picks.
It's quite clear to me, and as it should be to you after reading those statistics, that Jeff Fisher doesn't have any trust in Vince Young. I think it's also quite clear that one of them will have to go if we want a Super Bowl.
Lets face it: Chris Johnson won't last forever. We need a coach who has confidence in the QB, or a QB Jeff will have confidence in to throw the ball if we do want to win.
Unless things change drastically, and soon, that's the reality the Tennessee Titans will be facing come this offseason.
A great read about some of this is an article on breaking down the offensive play calling vs. the Giants, and my main inspiration for doing this:
By Titans4Vols: Jabberhead & SJ Contributing Author