'Young' Or Old? Is Vince Still The Long-Term Man in Nashville?
Coming into this season, there were no doubts around Tennessee that Vince Young's sophomore jinx was over, and the Rose Bowl phenom that so many watched three years ago would be in rare form for the 2008 campaign. However, after 68,000 boos and a hurt knee in week one, the third overall pick might be searching for a job in the off season.
Since the injury to Young, 35 year-old Kerry Collins has stepped in and done exactly what veteran quarterbacks in this league get payed to do: manage the game, use experience in their favor, and win games.
Collins has led the Titans to a 12-1 record, an AFC South Championship, and a chance to wrap up home field advantage in the next two weeks. However, one would argue that Collins' numbers have not at all been impressive.
Going in to week 15, the 14-year vet has thrown for just over 2,200 yards, with 11 touchdowns and six interceptions. Despite the less than astounding numbers, it's been the composure and presence of Kerry Collins that has lead this team to such a successful year.
During weeks 10 and 11 (games against Chicago and Jacksonville) Collins and the offense were forced to go out of their comfort zone and rely on the passing game to win. The Jaguars and Bears both decided upon loading up the box up front and completely shutting down the Titans run game.
Collins however responded with 289 yards passing against Chicago and 230 yards against Jacksonville. Titans fans have become very confident in the once 'Wild Child' out of Penn State, giving him standing ovations during introductions and never once uttering a boo when an interception or a bad read is made.
The fans appreciate good, fundamental football. The Titans will always be a run first team that will never score a lot points, and will rely on solid defense and an offense that holds on to the ball and doesn't make mistakes.
Vince Young however, made mistakes. The NFL is a league in which the run first quarterbacks simply can't survive. The great Warren Moon and Steve McNair both complemented their running ability with a good passing attack. Young can be a good quarterback. He has the size, the strength, and even the arm to make it work.
However, with a side arm motion that isn't efficient, a mental state that once made him contemplate suicide, and an attitude that led him to refuse to cheer on his teammates during a week one victory, just gives the Titans more reason to consider parting ways with the Texas standout.
Kerry will turn 36 on December 30th. People have said that maybe he can become like Brett Favre and play into the 40's. However i just don't see that happening. Collins doesn't have the body that can take that type of punishment for much longer. Maybe two more seasons would be a logical decision.
So if the Titans resign Collins, then that leaves a hefty option of paying either Vince Young, or in-season acquisition Chris Simms. Simms has already indicated that he would like to remain in Tennessee. However his only knock would be that he hasn't stepped under center for the Titans yet, and was an unproven quarterback at Tampa.
Look for Tennessee to possibly draft a quarterback, in a draft that may feature some interesting choices. I'm not saying that Vince Young's days in two-tone blue are over. But just be aware Titans fans that VY might be, bye bye.
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