Titans' Vince Young Walks Out on Team After Benching

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Titans' Vince Young Walks Out on Team After Benching
Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Vince Young appears not to be the Titans starter anymore. Coach Jeff Fisher said that Young lost his stranglehold on the starting gig after the Titans’ 19-16 overtime loss to the Redskins on Sunday.

The Titans quarterback had a rough day on Sunday in which Young was booed by the Titans fans, injured his shoulder, threw his shoulder pads into the stands and left LP Field without talking to any media personnel. He apparently argued with coach Jeff Fisher after the game, too.

Not looking too good for the fifth-year quarterback.

In the third quarter, Young tore the flexor tendon in his right thumb and was taken to the locker room. He was replaced by rookie Rusty Smith. Young left for the locker room after suffering the injury and returned to the sideline shortly thereafter. He had his thumb taped and re-taped.

He even tried to wear a glove, but none of them seemed to work, as Fisher left the rookie in the game.

After the game was over, Young was walking to the locker room and suddenly threw his shoulder pads and jersey into the crowd. The team then proceeded to gather in the locker room and Young began to mutter under his breath—it is unclear as to what he said, but he appeared to be cursing.

According to The Tennessean, Fisher asked Young to be quiet and listen to what he was saying. The quarterback then decided to grab up his things and leave the locker room without saying anything to any of his teammates or coaches.

Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Apparently, Young was not mad at his teammates, but decided to take out his anger on coach Jeff Fisher. According to the report, Fisher told Young not to “run out on his teammates.” Young then rebuttled, “I’m not running out on my teammates, I’m running out on you.”

As Young left the locker room, teammate Michael Griffin chased after his former Texas teammate. Griffin was seen arguing with Young in the players’ parking lot. Griffin told the media that he said to Young, “You can’t leave, you can’t do this.”

Griffin denied chasing after Young, but multiple media outlets reported that they had witnessed the event. Griffin also said that he hopes that his teammates and coach could set aside their issues, so they could stick together as a team and hopefully make the playoffs.

When asked about Young and Fisher, Griffin said, “Whatever happens, that’s between them two. I’m just trying to be a loyal teammate and a supporter.”

Jeff Fisher also spoke to reporters after the game and when asked about the incident, he simply said, “That is between me and him and the team.”

He would also go on to say that he was very disappointed in Young and thinks that the quarterback blew up because he was frustrated with his efforts during the game. “There is going to be frustration in losses. There is going to be times when you have to dig deep and fight and turn to one another,” Fisher said. “I don’t think you run, and so I am disappointed.”

Fisher said that he didn’t put Young back in the game because he didn’t think he was healthy enough to play. According to multiple media outlets, Young’s season could possibly be over, but that is just hearsay. He will likely be re-evaluated by specialists and from there they will decide what happens for the rest of the season.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Young had told people close to him that his thumb is fine and he could have returned to the game. According to Young, he doesn’t think that his thumb will need surgery. Young is set to have an MRI on his thumb on Monday.

The team officials will likely have a conference with owner Bud Adams. Titans general manager Mike Reinfeldt told the Tennessean that he was not ready to make a decision on Young’s future with the team. Only time will tell as to what happens for Young.

Young was taken by the Titans with the third overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft and was the Offensive Rookie of the Year. He led the Titans to the postseason the next season and many thought that he would be the future for the Titans.

In the 2008 season opener, Young reacted poorly to the fans after the Titans faithful booed him after Young’s second interception of the game.

Young got his job back the following season after Kerry Collins opened the season with a 0-6 record. Collins was benched and Young finished the season as the starter.

The quarterback has a 30-17 overall record as a starting NFL quarterback, but the Titans are currently 5-5 with three straight losses.  They are now in second place in the AFC South.

With Young having his issues and Collins being injured, rookie Rusty Smith is officially the team’s starter as they look to bounce back against the Houston Texans next week.

But the question remains: Is Vince Young’s future in Tennessee over? Personally, I think so. He has had too many issues with the Titans organization and has not only been given a second chance, but also a third and maybe a fourth chance as well. It appears that his days in Tennessee are numbered.

I think that Young still can be a starter in the NFL, but it will take time, as he is still developing. There are a few teams that need a quarterback like Young, who has one year remaining on his contract.

Young deserves a “fifth” chance, but not in Tennessee. In my opinion, Young needs a change of scenery and players seem to do better when they get that change.

Teams that should take a shot on Young: Panthers, Bills, Cardinals, Jaguars, Dolphins, Vikings, Raiders, 49ers and Seahawks.

It is likely that Young could be released, maybe traded, at the end of the season and I think it will be one of those teams that takes a shot on him.

But for now, the Titans need to deal with Young in a professional manner and hopefully Young can do the same.

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