Message to Vince Young: Time to grow up, big guy. You're no longer a kid with a dream, you're a man with a job.
And you're not doing it very well.
Yes, I realize that the outcome of the Titans-Colts game held absolutely no meaning for either team's playoff position. I understand that Young hasn't played in any meaningful capacity since early in the season. I am fully aware that the Titans defense, which stood the Pittsburgh Steelers on their ears last week, played more like a second-string high school squad against the Colts.
And don't give me any guff about him not getting reps all season: Jim Storgi came in after Manning was done and looked crisp, hitting receivers in stride as he led the Colts to a touchdown and two field goals.
Storgi backs up Payton Manning; need I say more?
VY has a big task ahead of him in proving that he is the face of the Titan's future, and his performance against the Colts did nothing to bolster his case.
After being booed early in the year when his performance was less than stellar, then giving the Titans organization reason to question his mental strength by dropping off the map and not letting anyone know where he was or what he was doing, Young has been relegated to backup status, at one point being listed as the No. 3 quarterback for a short stint.
When Young came into the game after Kerry Collins played the first series, he quickly went to work showing why he still has a lot to learn about professional football. In three quarters, Young was able to manage only 55 yards on 9-of-13 passes, while rushing for 25 yards.
Not exactly the type of performance you would expect to see from a man looking to earn his starting spot back. His performance was so unimpressive that Jeff Fisher pulled him for No. 3 quarterback Chris Simms. That had to sting Young's already fragile ego.
You see, Young doesn't handle failure very well and he saw very little of it during his college career as a Longhorn. But he failed to realize, or maybe no one pointed out to him, that the plays which took him to the top in college were going to be a liability to him in the pros if he didn't add to his repertoire.
The job of a quarterback in the NFL is to get the ball to the running backs and receivers so that THEY can score. Yes, it's nice to be able to move the ball downfield yourself if you HAVE to, but it shouldn't be your second, or even third, choice: it should be your last.
It seems that sometimes Young leaves the huddle with the intention of running the ball himself regardless of what the play call is.
That just won't cut it in the NFL. Ask Randall Cunningham; for all his ability to run the ball, he only broke the 90-point barrier in passer rating twice in his 16-year career and didn't lead his team to the Super Bowl once in that time.
Or maybe he should talk to Kordell Stewart; another college phenom who wowed defenses with his versatility, even earning the nickname "Slash" for his ability to throw, catch, and run the ball. He even punted one for 41 yards against Buffalo in the playoffs.
But once defenses adjusted to take away his running ability, he faltered. He had two good years in 1997 and 2001, taking the Steelers to the AFC Championship game in both years. But he was unable to finish the deal in both, and his career quickly diminished after the 2001 season.
He is currently married with a five-year old son, still has aspirations of returning to the NFL, and is working on transferring his "Slash" moniker to the golfing world with his ability to drive, chip, and putt.
Know this: if Kerry Collins doesn't return as the Titans starter next season, VY needs to show quickly that he is the man to go to. There are a few good quarterbacks sitting in backup slots right now, as well as a pretty decent crop coming up in the draft.
If Young can't handle the heat, he'd better start working on his slice.