At first, he didn’t want to talk about it, but Vince Young eventually not only talked about his suspension from Saturday’s preseason opener, but apologized for it as well.
Young was held out of the 14-6 loss to the Washington Redskins because of a curfew violation in which he went home rather than staying at the team hotel as required.
“It happens,” Young said. “I was the one of the guys being singled out and being one of the leaders, I can’t do that. But at the same time, I guess he [Jeff Fisher] got his message across to the rest of the team. Now, we’re moving on.”
Young said he didn’t mean to offend his teammates with his decision to leave the hotel for his house without the Fisher’s permission.
“If I did [offend them], I apologize to my teammates, fans, coaches, to everybody,” Young said. “To me, I really feel like I’m not a bad guy, but I made a bad decision to try to go home and get some rest in my own bed and should have told coach, but I didn’t, and that’s the consequences. I want to tell all the kids out in the world to abide by the rules, and that’s what happens if you don’t.”
Fisher said the Titans would move forward as well. The first sign of that was that Young was back with the first team offense in Monday afternoon’s practice at Baptist Sports Park.
“It’s unfortunate that he was not able to play in the game,” Fisher said. “I know there were a lot of fans that came out there to see him play. We all are sorry for that but we’ll move on. He’s going to play next week and the week after and the week after. We’ve put it behind us and moved on.”
Center Kevin Mawae, one of the veteran leaders on the team, said he hopes it was a lesson learned for the second-year quarterback.
“I think what he needs to understand is that you’ve got to pay your dues. It doesn’t matter if you’re a quarterback or not,” Mawae said. “I didn’t get to stay at home until my 14th year in the league. For him to be upset that he didn’t want to stay in the team hotel — I guess that’s what the situation was, I don’t know — there are rules for a reason. They were set up to keep guys under control. He broke them and paid the price for it and hopefully, he won’t do it again.
“Guys on this team look up to him as a leader, and if you’re going to be a leader, you’ve got to do everything right, and that includes being in at curfew.”
Young’s week should get better, as he is not only expected to start Friday at New England, but also because the Madden ’08 video game is due out today.
FORD INJURED: Rookie defensive end Jacob Ford injured his left Achilles during the early portion of Monday’s practice and was transported off the field by a cart.
Fisher said Ford, a sixth-round pick from Central Arkansas, was being evaluated by the Titans medical staff.
The Titans have already lost one rookie defensive lineman to a major injury, when Antonio Johnson tore his ACL earlier in camp.
IN AND OUT: Running back LenDale White sat out Monday’s practice with a mild ankle sprain, but said he wants to push through and play Friday night against New England when his scheduled start comes around.
“I’m going to do everything I can to push it,” said White, who indicated that he rolled the ankle on a screen pass that went to teammate Bo Scaife.
White ran six times for 12 yards in the loss to Washington.
Other Titans to miss practice included defensive tackle Jesse Mahelona (ankle), linebacker Gilbert Gardner (ankle), tight end Ben Troupe (foot), guard Mike Otto (knee) and cornerback Reynaldo Hill (groin). Defensive end Nathaniel Adibi remains out with a hip injury, and cornerback Andre Woolfolk was sent out for a second opinion on his injured hamstring.
Those players back at practice after missing time included guard Benji Olson, receiver Jonathan Orr, tight end Jamie Petrowski and defensive end Travis LaBoy.
BIG KICKS: With a stiff breeze at their backs, the Titans kickers attempted 65-yard kicks early in practice. Rob Bironas’ field goal had plenty of distance, but hit off the right upright.
Rookie John Vaughn then stepped up and made a 65-yard kick.