Titans' confidence in Young grows

Monday, November 16, 2009 at 6:58pm

Vince Young’s play on the field isn’t the only thing that appears to be improving for the Tennessee Titans quarterback.

Through three games as the starter again, Young also appears more confident and knowledgeable regarding his role as the team’s leader in the huddle and at the line of scrimmage.

“He does seem a little more confident,” tackle Michael Roos said. “For whatever reason if the play clock is running down or we don’t have a play, he’s a little bit more confident to just call a play and we run whatever we have with the personnel we have in the huddle. [He’s able] to just run a play and take more command of the game.”

Young said his preparation has been better in his second go-around as the starter. His first tenure started off well in 2006, as he won NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, but Young took steps backwards in 2007, even as the Titans record improved from 8-8 to 10-6.

Then last year’s well-documented fall from grace took Young completely out of the plans last year. But during his time behind Kerry Collins, it has become increasingly evident that he was working harder to succeed if and when the chance came to start again.

“Preparation is the key. I feel like me and [Mike] Heimerdinger are very close by Wednesday. We doing a lot of studying,” Young said. “When we are sitting in the office and things like that, we get to see different things that defenses are doing, that they might do on me, that we can take advantage with our receivers and C.J. [Chris Johnson]. … I just want to go out there and do my job as a quarterback and just lead the guys down the field and that is what I have been doing.”

Titans coach Jeff Fisher praised Young for his work in three straight wins. During that time, Young has gone 44 of 62 for 507 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.

“He’s had three very, very solid ballgames. His numbers would reflect that,” Fisher said. “It’s the first time we’ve had a quarterback rating three consecutive games over 90 since (2003) which I think was Steve’s (McNair) MVP year. He’s put three solid games together.”

Results, plus Young’s preparation and practice work, are slowly helping to rebuild trust in him as the team’s offensive leader.
“I think he’s been in the system now. That’s the key,” Fisher said. “He’s well into his second year in the system so he’s becoming more and more comfortable with the system. He can specialize the extra work. He’s getting all the reps on the practice field as the starter would. In this offense, it’s paying off for him.”

Added work

During the Titans’ six-game losing streak to start the year, running back Chris Johnson had just 95 carries. He now has 75 carries in the past three games. Fisher said he isn’t worried about the extra workload wearing the NFL’s leading rusher down.

“No, I think he’s getting stronger. I think he’s better now than he was to start the season. Now whether that was the normal wear and tear of training camp, I don’t know,” Fisher said. “He’s running the ball as good as he ever has. He’s not showing any signs of wear down. He’s staying healthy. Even though it appears he’s taking a big hit, his cleats are out of the ground and he’s just bouncing right back up and he’s protecting the football.”

Johnson showed his strength bouncing off two Bills tacklers after being wrapped up at the 1, escaping their grasp and going into the end zone for a touchdown.

Still healing

Cornerback Nick Harper is still on the mend, according to Fisher, even though he was cleared last week for contact again. The Titans don’t have to rush him with Rod Hood having played well with three interceptions in three games.

“Nick was cleared last week for contact. He was cleared to play last week, yes, by the medical staff,” Fisher said Monday. “Being cleared by the medical staff and going back in the lineup and playing with a plate in your arm is two different things. We’ll just have to wait and see how he does this week.”


Grounds crew were busy Monday giving LP Field some new sod to help the surface for the remainder of the 2009 season.

The entire field, except for the end zones, are getting new sod put down.


14 Comments on this post:

By: blktenn on 11/17/09 at 7:45

Vince Young has not changed!!!!! He is still the same person and player.

Terry McCormick YOU said he could not do the job and YOU put him down as a person QB and said he had no HEART.

Vince Young has not changed!!!!!!

Terry McCormick YOU and many others are trying to cover YOUR change of OPINIONS !!!!!!

Fact: How could a QB so messed up seem to fix it over night ?????

Vince Young has not changed!!!!!!


AND It’s not Kerry Fault !!!!

By: BigPapa on 11/17/09 at 8:11

3 games does not make a career. We'll see what happens when they play these next 3 games. MUCH better competition. If I were TN I'd still let VY walk at the the end of the year. If for no other reason to be through with his histronics. I can't believe we could end up stuck with this guy for the next 5 years.

By: TITAN1 on 11/17/09 at 9:02

BigPapa, you are right, three games does not make a career. But, in these three games he has played very well. You say lets see what he does the next three games, but then you say you would let him walk no matter what. That doesn't make much since and with all due respect I'm glad you are not the one making the decisions. I posted my thoughts before we inserted VY as the starter that I hope we give him the rest of the year to see what he has learned. IMO, he has passed the first three tests and still has many to go, but so far I am impressed. It still amazes me how when somebody does not like someone from the get go, they will never change their mind. Sorta like a die hard Republican or Democrat.

By: titansfb on 11/17/09 at 9:36

well i dont like blktenn from the get go and that wont ever change!!!

By: wayneCaluger on 11/17/09 at 9:46

Vince Young has not changed!!!!! He is still the same person and player. You are 80% correct on that, but the team sure has changed. We now have a punter that can punt more than 39 yards and put enough air under his punts so there is less return yards.

We now have a return man that not only catches punts and kickoff's he also holds onto the ball and makes some decent returns. A 100% improvement in field position. We now have a play maker DB in Hood that not only can break up or disrupts pass plays he can also intercept and run back those interceptions (3 in 3 games. Not a bad trade with the hapless Browns--Hood for Hodges who is still making 39 yard punts.

Now if we can get Hope and Griffin in the game instead of holding meetings at mid field as receivers like TO streak pass our secondary heading for sideline and end zone we may stand a chance in two weeks to hold our own against the Colts. It will take all our DB's being in the game to keep up with Wade, Clark, Austin and Garcon.

Sending Kerse to Shady Pines retirement and putting a hunger young DE has helped as well.

Vince Young has not changed!!!!! He is still the same person and player. Yep, he still throws side arm with no zip on the ball being a virtual zero pass completion threat beyond 10 yards and pretty much either side line. Improvement in completions have been a result of more screen passes to CJ.

What I see in what I consider a major test in two weeks against a top tier team is; Shutting down our run game forcing us to pass and pass from the pocket. I expect Freddy, Hayden and Mathis to force the action to the inside keeping CJ and VY off the edges forcing VY to pass from the pocket and work more out of the shotgun.

I expect the Colts secondary to play soft to invite the pass and do like the Bills did on their interception, come up on the wobby air ball passes to pick them off. I wouldn't be surprised if Bethea, Rushing and the Colts secondary ended up with 3 to 4 interceptions.

As Troy Aikeman said, if you cannot pass in the modern era NFL you are not going to have much of a chance to be a playoff contender much less a winner. We have got a good bunch of receivers who are going to wither on the vine. Right now we are living on CJ ability to get open and rack up 100 yards plus a game. We all need to pray he stays healthy and gets the blocks to keep him and the team going.

We still have a few more bottom feeder teams left to help salvage the season and a mid level team next up before VY first test against a top tier team. It all depends on what fans are willing to settle for, a mid level 8-8 or 9-7 exciting team down the road or a team that will be a title contender each year. For the latter to happen you need a complete quarterback, on that can throw both in or out of the pocket and hopefully one with a set of legs like VY has.

By: Alphadog7 on 11/17/09 at 10:37

BLKTENN: "Fact: How could a QB so messed up seem to fix it over night ?????"
How can a question be a fact? LOL...

Vince Young has obviously changed, and so has the rest of the team. We saw Vince play against New England and he did even worse than Kerry Collins. He is playing better now and so is the rest of the team. I think they would be playing better if Collins was still starter as well. If you ask me, the team should apologize to Collins for hanging him out to dry like they did...

Here is a "fact" though... the opponents have been much easier since Vince started.

By: TITAN1 on 11/17/09 at 11:01

Vy is another threat the defense has to respect. They figured out Kerry was not a double threat. BTW, VY's passing accuracy has vastly improved.

By: wayneCaluger on 11/17/09 at 12:58

VY's passing accuracy has vastly improved. Wrong! He is making safe throws, throws that are within his abilities. You cannot be an accurate passing NFL quarterback with his throwing mechanics period and that's not VY fault, it's the fault of coaching he received during his youth football days and it's not a correctable fault.

If you don't bring the ball overhand on the same plane as your eye it will not and cannot be an accurate throw regardless of the fact if its a baseball or football. If you throw side arm the ball will sail and will not be accurate, regardless of the fact if its a baseball or football.

If you don't bring the ball overhand you cannot snap your wrist necessary to put a tight spin or rotation on the ball you will not have accuracy , regardless of the fact if its a baseball or football.

If you don't turn and shift your weight onto your throwing arm foot and come over handed with the ball you will not have accuracy.

Now you can lob the ball out on screen plays and get away with it, but when it comes to getting the ball on the money in tight coverage leading your receiver you must have the proper throwing mechanics. You cannot play throw it up and catch football in the NFL . Perhaps you were not listening to what Troy Aikman, you know the Hall of Fame quarterback keep saying last week "he (VY) putting to much air under the ball" and that's a result of improper throwing mechanics.

I have not seen nor do I expect to ever see again a NFL quarterback who lacks fundamental proper throwing mechanics necessary to have the accuracy demanded in the NFL. So don't be mislead by a better accuracy from throwing more screen passes. Look more to the out pass that sailed 10 yards to left of an open receiver and the interception thrown behind the open receiver because a good designed defense will takeaway the short easy pass and made you work for it.

By: TITAN1 on 11/17/09 at 1:18

He has thrown quite a few long balls "ACCURATELY". RIGHT! I have seen them in person. I have seen them on tv. Is he perfect, hell know, but what QB is? You probably didn't think the option would work in the NFL, but VY and CJ ran it beautifully! The VY haters really need to take the blinders off and see that he has vastly improved. He no longer looks at just one receiver. He has much better awareness in the pocket and the coaches are letting him be VY. I think his record as a starter is 22-11, not bad for a young guy who some people gave up on. He will have future bad games, just like all quarterbacks.

By: TITAN1 on 11/17/09 at 1:26

Oh, and his mechanics not letting him put the ball in tight places with zip? You obviously only choose what you want to see because he has done that many times. As for Troy Aikman, like Jaws he only believes in a drop back QB. They will never give an athletic QB any credit. Aikman has had too many hits to the head, probably from staying in the pocket too long because his receivers were covered and he couldn't do anything else. We will just let him succeed or fail, what we think will change nothing. I personally think he is well on his way to succeeding.

By: wayneCaluger on 11/17/09 at 2:54

You obviously only choose what you want to see because he has done that many times. No, that insight comes from years of experience, attending many coaching clinics and an understanding of basic fundamentals. Yes VY may have gotten some passes it tight spaces and there are times having too much zip on the ball makes it difficult to impossible for receivers to catch. Knowing how much zip to put on the ball was something Cutler was slow in learning.

As for Troy Aikman, like Jaws he only believes in a drop back QB. Regardless if one is a pure pocket passer or has the ability to go outside the pocket to extend plays, once outside the pocket you have to have the mechanics to complete the pass if it's there or throw it away.

They will never give an athletic QB any credit. With few exceptions a pure athletic QB has a short life span in the NFL due to the hits and injuries. It may take a few years like it did with McNair to take its toll, but with Steve he was also a threat with his arm as well.

We will just let him succeed or fail, what we think will change nothing. I agree and was not my intent to rain on the success parade but rather to inflect that for the Titans to continue their success it will take more than CJ to keep our opponents defense honest. They will need to respect both our run and pass. It comforting to hear VY is improving in his ability to read the defense, but we will need to be able to take advantage of what they are willing to give us, including deep and over the middle passing lanes.

The big test is two weeks away. This week game will be a pop quiz as to how far the team, not just VY has progressed.

By: TITAN1 on 11/17/09 at 3:49

I have seen him do all of the above on a more consistent basis. I guess we are watching different games. We will see how it plays out. I'm not saying he is the best QB in the league, but I think he is the most improved and gives us a better chance to win and if he continues his play I have no problem with him being our QB for now and the future.

By: wayneCaluger on 11/17/09 at 5:56

I guess we are watching different games. Nope, just being subjective. I've not missed a Titan game nor any televised NFL game, including last nights Ravens vs Browns game.

if he continues his play I have no problem with him being our QB for now and the future. If he can get the job done and we continue winning including against top tier teams (not everyone, but those we could win) I'm OK with whoever. Like Steve Hamilton (former pitching coach after Turner for the Yankee's) once said during a conversation, when it come to mechanics there is the right way and the best way. If VY can get the job done throwing sidearm then its the best way.

By: nashton on 11/19/09 at 12:22

Any Titans fan better hope Young HAS changed, because his rookie season started off very well but his lack of maturity and his thin skin back then became more and more evident as time went on. How many times did he himself say he thought about walking away, or he didn't want to play anymore? He had trouble handling the job the way a successful pro QB has to.

He needed to change.

Here's hoping the change is real, and permanent. How he handles adversity the next time he faces some -- and if he intends to have a long career, he will definitely see more ups and downs -- will let us know for sure.