Surgery to end Young's season; beyond that is to be determined

Monday, November 22, 2010 at 5:40pm

The figurative arm wrestling match between Jeff Fisher and Vince Young for the support of Tennessee Titans’ owner Bud Adams and the long-term direction of Young’s playing career will have to wait.

Young has a thumb injury – literally – that delays any drama because it eliminates the possibility that he can be the team’s starting quarterback for the final six games of this season.

That, Fisher figures, makes Young currently irrelevant and, consequently, unworthy of his attention until sometime in the offseason.

“My concern is this week,” Fisher said Monday during his regular weekly press briefing. “And I don’t ever go into my contract situation, but I do have another year left on my contract. My hope is that I finish my career here. I did not speak with Mr. Adams regarding those issues; we talked with him regarding Vince’s thumb and the injury.”

There’s the rub.

Young also has one year remaining on the contract he signed after being drafted third overall in 2006. His selection was strongly endorsed and effectively mandated by Adams, who lives and maintains businesses in Houston, where Young first rose to prominence in Texas as a high school football star and not to far from Austin, where Young led the University of Texas to the BCS championship in his final college season.

Following Sunday’s 19-16 overtime loss to the Washington Redskins it is unclear whether Fisher and Young can coexist on the same team.

Young openly displayed frustration on the sideline when he was not reinserted after being injured in the third quarter, threw his shoulder pads into the crowd as he left the field at game’s end and then promptly stormed out of the locker room. In his postgame press conference shortly thereafter Fisher declared Young no longer was the team’s starting quarterback.

“Had there not been an injury … still (due to) his actions after the game, he wouldn’t be the starter,” Fisher said. “But we have an injury that is going to require surgery so we’re going to move on.”

The injury, according to Fisher, is a torn flexor tendon in the thumb on Young’s right (throwing) hand, which requires season-ending surgery. When that surgery takes place or whether Young agrees with the diagnosis is unknown at this time.

“He may want to get a second opinion, he may want to get two dozen opinions but our doctors said that for his position, it needs to get fixed,” Fisher said. “So we’re going to do that based on their recommendation.”

They’re also going to re-sign veteran Chris Simms, who was released at the end of training camp and prepare for this Sunday’s game at Houston with rookie Rusty Smith as their starting quarterback.

Kerry Collins, who played in each of the four games prior to Washington (with two starts), remains sidelined by a severe calf strain.

“It makes sense,” Fisher said. “I mean (Simms) knows our system, he was here throughout the offseason and he knows what we’re doing and he knows the players so it makes sense to get him in there until (Collins) comes back.

“It’s been a little unsettling, yeah. We’ve had changes in three of the last four games with (Young) and (Collins). Now we’ve got another one. I’m excited for (Smith) because Rusty knows what to do. Rusty understands the offense. There is going to be some growing pains with him a little bit, but … I think Rusty will be successful.”

Throughout his four-plus season in the NFL, Young has been successful in that he has nearly twice as many wins as a starter (30) as he does losses (17). Not only that, but his yards per attempt have improved every year except one to a career-best 8.04 this season. Similarly, his touchdown percentage this season was an all-time high (6.4) while his interception percentage was an all-time low (1.9).

Injuries have been a concern, though. He has missed time with three different issues this season and never has played all 16 games in a single year. Plus, his antics during and after the game against the Redskins were not the first.

He was benched after the 2008 season-opener amid questions about his maturity as he dealt with a knee injury.

Through it all, Fisher contended, he stood firmly behind his quarterback.

“All I’ve done here since Vince walked in the door is try and help him to be the best player he could be,” Fisher said. “I’ve stood behind him and defended him from the get go.

Now he’s ready to move forward. Obviously he’ll do so without Young for the final six games of this season.

After that, it just might be time for one of them to move on to somewhere else.

 “He’s not going to play any more games this year because of the injury,” Fisher said. “We can deal with all that after the season’s over.”

20 Comments on this post:

By: brrrrk on 11/22/10 at 4:54

The question is, why should we want someone representing us who welcomes the boos of the fans that pay for the tickets to see him play.... even if it was meant sarcastically (which I don't think it was)? By doing so, he essentially "gave the finger" to the Titans fans. What an ass!

By: richgoose on 11/22/10 at 6:41

I am mostly ambivalent about Vince Young. Having dealt with hundreds of employees over the years I have great empathy for Jeff Fisher. If you have an employee whose negative attitude affects the moral of the company you must get rid of that employee in whatever manner is necessary.. In the old day I just fired them. Over the last 10 years I counseled with labor attorneys to find the most expedient and painless method (for both myself and the employee) of seeing this person to the door.

In the case of Vince Young who may be incapable of understanding himself and Bud Adams who may not be able make an equation Jeff Fisher may very well need all the grey matter and advice he can get to rid the team of this cancer.

By: bfra on 11/23/10 at 4:59

If Adams wants a winning team, he need to let Fisher do the coaching! VY is not mature enough for a pro QB! How many "2nd chances" does he get?

By: govskeptic on 11/23/10 at 6:55

Let's not forget one important factor: Vince is now 27 yrs old,
while not ready for SS, he's certainly old enough to know this
is no longer UT/Austin football!

By: blktenn on 11/23/10 at 8:53

Bud Adams get rid of JEFF FISHERS...

Who is the Boss of the Titans? Who writes the checks? If you don’t like it stay at home, most titan’s fans are not true fans. Jeff Fishers needs to GO!!!! Jeff has never supported VY and Jeff lies like a DOG…
Most of you Vanderbilt and Tennessee fans are used to losing. That’s why you accept Jeff Fisher’s 50% losing record.

By: blktenn on 11/23/10 at 9:03


Jeff Fisher is also an employee. His Boss told him that VY stay. Who cares how many people you have counseled with. Most counselers like your self are so crewed up yourself, how is the wife (LOL)

By: Alphadog7 on 11/23/10 at 9:05

I wish the best for Vince Young. He seems like a good guy. But I have to support Coach Fisher on this. Time to make a change at QB.

By: fishfry on 11/23/10 at 9:06

Jeff Fisher is NOT the biggest problem in the Titan debacle. He is a part of the problem but Adams has the final blame for the hires. And VY is a whining brat! If he doesn't get his way, he storms off the field like a 5 year old. What is that? Where is his team spirit? What about the millions of dollars we pay him to "play" or whatever he does? There will be NO wins without team spirit...the "me and me alone" thinkers are not part of a team.

By: wataboutbob on 11/23/10 at 9:17

Jeff Fisher could get another coaching job in a minute. If he wants to take that bullcrap from an owner he can get the big money from Jerry Jones.

Vince Young is an insignificant speck in the NFL and doesn't deserve to be in the same conversation about the future of the Titans.

By: royt5 on 11/23/10 at 9:21

I believe that VY is a complete failure as any kind of leader. I agree with the post above that when he waved his hands last Sunday afternoon to bring it on, was just like giving his fans the middle finger. I watched him on the sidelines through binoculars every chance I got, and he was always off to himself sulking. Never encouraging his cheering for his teammates. He acts like it is all about him. I can't believe that the other players in the clubhouse don't resent him down deep. Of course all of the Texas connection players are always speaking up for him, (Scaife, Hall & to a lesser degree Griffin) and in this way they are all enablers for his problem. They need to tell him what an ass he is making of himself and grow up.

By: Titan9282 on 11/23/10 at 9:39

All you Fisher haters, I bet you are loving this. But, the fact remains that the owner of this team has his buried in the sand in Houston and does not know what is going on with his franchise. So, let's look at the facts: FACT: 2008, Young gets booed at Home against the Jags and takes himself out of the game because the fans "don't have his back". Kerry Collins takes the reins and leads this team to a 13-3 record, wins the division and get to the playoffs. FACT: 2008 playoffs. The offense turns the ball over 3 times in Ravens territory and lose 13-10. Fisher gets the blame from the haters because he has magical powers to hold on to footballs on the field for players during games. FACT: 2009, the Titans go 0-6 because the receivers are inconsistant, the Secondary cannot cover a dish and the Punt retuner has Criso on his hands. Young comes in and does a good job and makes a respectable season out of it. Fisher gets blamed for the 0-6 and Young gets all the credit for the turn around. FACT: 2010, The Titans has 2 bad games against the Steelers ( I do disagree with benching Young in that game) and Denver (Hope is useless), but are 5-2 going against the almost dead Chargers. The Defense leaves the field. 4 weeks later, the Defense has stil decided to take a vacation.

My point to all this is that Fisher is getting all the blame for everything that goes wrong with this team. He is the coach so he is the first person to look at. But, let me tell all you Young fanatics a little secrets: HE WAS WRONG. Fisher pays the trainers and doctors a whole lot of money to do what they do. If they say Young cannot go back in the game, YOUNG CANNOT GO BACK IN THE GAME. He has made a total idiot of himself and instead of manning up to it, he runs to ESPN and see that the coach has no faith in him. Young is the problem. Adams is part of the problem. If I was Fisher, I would say "screw it, I'm out" and quit. It is true, He could have a job in 5 minutes, probably less. i am ashamed of some of this fan base that are clueless and do not look at the facts because they don't like the way the coach does things. You know, he is the coach has been doing a long time. So, until you people coach, you have no clue what you are talking about. I am not a coach, do not play one on TV. But, I believe in Fisher and I trust his judgements. I am done with this. GO RUSTY, LETS GET THEM FISHER, AND GO TITANS!!!!!!!

By: brrrrk on 11/23/10 at 10:15

Two points....

First of all, there's Bud Adams..... Who says that Adams actually wants to win a Super Bowl? Adams is a business man pure and simple, and as such, a mediocre team can act as a money sink just as easily as a good team. Does anyone think that winning a Super Bowl was the first thing on Bud's mind when he moved the team here? Secondly, the sweetheart deals that he made with the powers that be make him money regardless of whether the team wins or loses. And lastly, keeping Young is his way of rubbing Houston's nose in it.... after all, he has their "golden child".

The second point..... I almost understand (but don't approve of nor defend) VY's reaction when he was booed. Titans fans have to be some of the most fair weather and fickle fans I've ever seen. They'll start booing and catcalling at the first chance they get. Now I know that not all fans do this.... and maybe it's just the fact that when I have attended games, I've been sitting in the cheap seats, but I've seen other teams in other venues and haven't experienced this there nearly as much as here. Frankly, it's a bit embarrassing.

By: jsteen on 11/23/10 at 10:34

Let the man-boy millionaire retire. He is not NFL material. At 27 he is unlikely to "mature" and has been given enough "second" chances.

Regardless, the coach is the coach and should not be publicly disrespected by a player. And, the owner should allow the coach to do the job he is hired to do. Jeff doesn't have to put up with any of it. He could get another job easily - or just retire.

By: junglejim on 11/23/10 at 10:44

VY is a little cry baby who will NEVER have enough leadership skills to lead a goat. He's so eat up with himself I think Bud Adams needs to hire him to be his butler or gardener or something like that because he's no good at football. Fisher needs to leave these titan losers and go on to a team who wants to win. GO MICHAEL VICK.

By: GUARDIAN on 11/23/10 at 12:50

GUARDIAN-Jeff Fisher has done with less than any other coach in the NFL from a season view point year after year. He can to take the clay and mold it into a team. Some clay just won't harden up to have the strength needed to be a pro player.

By: Ashleigh on 11/23/10 at 12:53

There's no crying in Football!!!!!

By: Titan831 on 11/23/10 at 1:02

All you VY haters are the most fickle fans in the NFL. Don't you see who the problem is? It's Jeff Fisher. He has become comfortable in his job and thinks his way is the only way. VY is not a pocket passer yet. He has come along way. Fisher should utilize his skill set and direct the offense around that. He continues to try to make VY he is something he is not. VY will flourish if he leaves the Titans. That is, if he gets the right team and coach to utilize his skill set. Vy's winning percenteage as a QB is a hell of a lot better then Fisher's as a coach. And Fisher treats him like a little kid. VY is a grown man. Not me or anyone who reads this would allow themselves to be direspected in front of our peers. Someone said they agreed with Fisher as they have dealt with alot of employees. Well the first thing everyone knows about being a leader or supervisor is you rarely if ever call people out in front of their peers. Get rid of Fisher. How many Superbowls has he won us.? VY is the next Michael Vick. Fisher has got to go!

By: Ashleigh on 11/23/10 at 1:14

That's all fine and good Titan831 but his skill set is limited...and will he really have to go to jail to get better? And I still say there's no CRYING IN FOOTBALL!

By: junglejim on 11/23/10 at 3:21

titan831 you must be blind.....I don't see how you can even use Vick's name in the paragraph as cry baby young. vy might as well go back to Austin, Tx. and cook in his steakhouse because he'll never make in in the big boys game.

By: serr8d on 11/23/10 at 7:54

I can just imagine the conversations at water coolers all around this city: 'hey, we were doing just fine, until Randy Moss came along; do ya think… ?'. But the sad truth is, Vince Young is, and always has been, a non-leader of men. You can point to his sub-10 Wonderlic score (which, like IQ, is simply a measure of how much capacity one’s brain can absorb and process). A low Wonderlic doesn't mean VY can't play ball, but there are more expectations than simple field mechanics, despite those who poo-pooh the Wonderlic.

We know VY hasn’t diligently studied tapes; that's been a complaint of the coaching staff for years. He’s relied heavily on his innate physical skills on the field – skills that don’t translate to the locker-room (or sideline) leadership qualities necessary for the quarterback position.

Randy Moss came into the fragile little nest Vince Young has hollowed out, and was likely seen by Vince as an immediate threat to his tenuous leadership. Moss' mere presence was enough to upset the apple-cart pulled by the donkey that is the extent of the horsepower in Vince’s fierce but tiny mind.

But this meltdown had to happen sometime. The zit comes to a head, again, now it’s popped.

Jeff Fisher has my support, again; Bud should keep taking his Aricept and let the Coach run his team as he sees fit.