Tennessee Titans: Jeff Fisher vs. Vince Young Is False Start

Dwight PalmerContributor INovember 29, 2010

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 6: Head coach Jeff Fisher of the Tennessee Titans argues with referee Ron Winter #14 against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Field on December 6, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Colts defeated the Titans 27-17. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)
Scott Boehm/Getty Images

By now, we are all wondering what is going on with the Tennessee Titans Organization? 

Football fans everywhere, whether they are Titans fans or not, are following this soap opera.

We are told through sports writers and leaks by head coach, Jeff Fisher, what they want us to hear. Some of the things we hear do not ring true and some have the smack of self-justification.

Very few of us are in the locker room or on the sidelines. Therefore, we will use logic and observation to test the reported incidents. 

We have been told that Vince Young threw half his uniform into the stands after his last game. Young stated that he always gave fans souvenirs to fans after a game. 

We find out later that a stadium worker returned his shoulder pads to the locker room.   

I believe this statement to be true. 

Vince has given souvenirs, jerseys, wrist bands, etc. However, to my knowledge, it has never included his helmet and shoulder pads.  

Jeff Fisher has stated that Kerry Collins gives the Titans the best chance to win.

With Young as the starting QB, their record is 30–17. With Collins starting in the same time frame, their record is 14–13. 

Young obviously has the better record, as well as the ability to open the running game.  This statement by Fisher has no verification on the playing field. 

Fisher has stated that Young is lazy and does not study. 

After watching the games over five seasons, I see a steady improvement in Young’s on-field play. His quarterback ratings have consistently improved. 

Young’s first and second year may have shown a lack of study. However, after his benching the second year, he appears to have dedicated himself to the game. 

At the time of his season-ending injury, he was No. 5 in quarterback rating, No. 4 in yards per attempt and tied for No. 2 in interceptions. 

If a quarterback did not study, there is no wayin the NFLthat he could produce these numbers. This statement by Fisher is false by observation. 

Fisher says that he told Young that he did not have to attend team meetings. Young said he was told not to enter the building. 

We have a history of Fisher doing the same thing to Steve McNair. This led to a grievance procedure that McNair won. 

I believe that Fisher is being disingenuous about his actions.   

Fisher is contemptuous of Young’s text message apology. Vince was asked to leave the Titans' facility, in effect told that he is not welcome there. 

Yet Fisher expects him to humiliate himself and again try to enter the building to talk to Fisher face-to-face. 

It is ironic that Fisher did not speak to young face-to-face when having him banished from the team facility. He had an assistant do the dirty deed, but he expects better from Young than he does himself. 

It would have been just as easy to have the assistant bring Young to Fisher for a talk. Fisher is posturing to better position himself politically and to vilify Young in the media. 

A coach is supposed to be a person who teaches and encourages another for improved performance, teacher. This is what Fisher is supposed to be. 

What he has become is a tormentor.

He is effectively an individual that inflicts anguish, physical or mentala source of vexation. The latter definition appears to be the state of relations between the two individuals. 

Some have written that Fisher must be racist. I don’t think that is the case for the coach, though I do think some of the sports writers have that affliction.  

What we have with these two protagonists is a cultural disconnect. This is made worse by Fisher’s desire to draft another player in the place of Young. 

Fisher is angry and stubbornly intends to paint Young as incompetent. Even at the expense of losing games in the process.

Young, who grew up basically without his dad, was raised by his mother and grandmother while his dad was in prison. He wears No. 10 to honor his mothers birthdayJune 10. 

He learned his interpersonal skills while growing up in an economically lower-class neighborhood. 

I speculate that he learned “street values,” which differ from “middle-class” values. The way Fisher has treated him would have resulted in a “beat down” in that type of neighborhood where disrespect has personal consequences. 

Without the emotional release that disrespect requires, from his point of view, what is left is frustration without an outlet. Vince only wants to play football; that is where he gets his self-esteem, and his expectation of himself is to win. 

He is a “babe in the woods” when it comes to corporate politics. 

Fisher, who appears to have grown up with American middle-class values, knows how to play the system to his advantage. As in most American Corporations, the manager’s word has more value than an employee’s statement. 

Fisher knows the game. Based on observation, he fully intends to get his desire. 

He has become arrogant in his job. Sixteen seasons of mediocrity makes him think that his job is secure and he can afford a few loses to make his point.

Meanwhile, the Titans are caught in the middle. Nobody wants to say anything and become the next target; they just want to play football. 

The team is observing how Fisher is behaving toward one of their own, and it is eroding his leadership. This is evidenced by a 20–0 rape by the Texans.

It would be good if they could learn to work together. But there is little evidence to suggest that this will happen. 

Young needs an opportunity to grow into his talent potential. Fisher needs to learn some humility.

Unfortunately, that may only come with his termination.

With 20–20 hindsight, it seams that Jay Cutler made a great decision in forcing a trade from a coach that did not believe in him. That situation could have had him starring in his own melodrama had he stayed in Denver

In this league, reputation is sometimes better than performance.

I see little alternative for Bud Adams but to Fire Jeff Fisher. 

His pettiness will live on with the players whether Young is there or not. He is polluting his own well and needs to be removed before everyone gets sick from drinking the water. 


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