Young easily passes first test

Sunday, November 1, 2009 at 9:43pm
Vince Young looked comfortable in the pocket Sunday against the Jags. / Mike Strasinger for The City Paper

VY is still Bud Adams’ guy, especially after a solid effort on Sunday that gave the struggling Tennessee Titans their first victory of the season after an 0-6 start.

Young was plenty solid, playing efficient football and managing the game with few errors, especially given his rustiness from going 14 months between starts.

Young completed 15 of 18 passes for 125 yards and threaded the needle on a 6-yard touchdown pass to Nate Washington, marking Tennessee’s first touchdown in three weeks as part of Sunday’s 30-13 victory over the Jaguars.

"He managed the game well. ... He made some great throws," Titans coach Jeff Fisher said.

Adams, who has been one of Young’s biggest supporters since the Titans drafted him in 2006, said he believed the quarterback had learned from his well documented struggles that cost him his starting job after the season opener in 2008.

“I’ll tell you, he looked all right out there. I think he’s coming around a lot,” said Adams, who urged Coach Jeff Fisher to make the change from Kerry Collins to Young this week. “I think there’s just things that happened with him early in his career in the NFL that kept him occupied and looking at other areas and not concentrating on football. I think he realized that he needed to look at it hard, harder than he was before, and he has shown that.”

Young admits he has learned some things during his time on the bench and he imagined how he would handle it when his next turn came.

“The year off has helped me a whole lot,” Young said. “I put myself in different scenarios at night time. If I go out there and make a bad play, and they start to boo me, and anything that is going to happen, put it in the past and don’t worry about that.

“If we go out there and score a couple of touchdowns, and things like that, don’t worry about that, and continue to make plays and show your humbleness and maturity.”

Some of Young’s teammates who know him best from his University of Texas days and with the Titans liked the Vince Young they saw on Sunday.

“He looked like the old Vince that I saw in my three years in college with him,” safety Michael Griffin said. “He looked like the same Vince Young that I was used to seeing, playing with a confidence and making plays and being a leader on the field.”

Fullback Ahmard Hall, another Texas teammate, agreed.

“He’s always loose. That’s just the way Vince plays. I’ve been with him for seven years now,” Hall said. “That’s how he was at the University of Texas – national championship game, game on the line and he’s back there joking around and laughing. That’s just how Vince does it. He likes to keep the huddle loose and keep guys motivated. That’s just his style of play.”

Young did most of his work in the first half, completing 11 of 13 throws for 87 yards and the TD and finished the day with a passer rating of 114.1, the second highest rating in his career as a starter.

Young moved the chains with his legs a couple of times with 31 yards rushing on 11 carries, and made good decisions with the football. His only questionable throw came early in the game when Jacksonville cornerback Derek Cox dropped a sure interception in the end zone. But Young shook off the throw and took advantage of the break that came his way with a strong showing the rest of the game.

He credited offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger with part of that.

“He pretty much saw me grow up a little bit tonight,” Young said.
As did a lot of Titans fans and teammates.

“Decision-making, that’s what playing quarterback is all about. And he made good decisions the whole game,” guard Jake Scott said. “He wasn’t trying to force things, and that’s a good thing. He played a great game.”

As for Adams, who said he needed to see Young play in order to know what to do about a $4.2 million roster bonus in March and a $14.2 million cap hit in 2010, he said he gave Young, “A pretty damn high grade” on Sunday.


6 Comments on this post:

By: jps13pat on 11/2/09 at 2:48

Keep it up VY. Tennessee is still behind you.

By: dargent7 on 11/2/09 at 5:32

I was at the game. It was a good one...note to Fisher: DEFENSE. Two times the Jaguars ran 80 yard TD's...just ran thru our guys. And their QB thru 3 INT's and VY did not throw one. But VY stats pale in comparison to a Manning, Sanchez, Romo, or Favre. A win's a win. Keep it up.

By: blktenn on 11/2/09 at 8:26

Young steps in and Titans win, 30-13 over Jaguars
AP Sports Writer
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Vince Young felt good but nervous before his first start this season for the Tennessee Titans. He wound up with celebrating with his offensive coordinator and getting high grades from the team owner who wanted him back on the job.

And yes, he threw for a touchdown in helping the Titans win their first game this season, routing Jacksonville 30-13 Sunday to snap an eight-game skid dating to last year.

"The year off has helped me a whole lot," Young said. "I put myself in different scenarios at night time. If I go out and make a bad play and they start to boo me and anything that is going to happen, put it in the past and don't worry about that. ... Continue to make plays and show your humbleness and maturity."

He was greeted by cheers, but Young wasn't the highlight of a game the NFL said was the only one in league history with four touchdowns rushing of 50 yards or longer.

The Titans (1-6) helped put Young in the best position by focusing on running the ball. Chris Johnson set a franchise record by rushing for 228 yards on 24 carries, and he reeled off TD runs of 52 and 89 yards after Jacksonville tied the game at 13 in the opening minute of the third quarter.
Coordinator Mike Heimerdinger got Young into a rhythm early with lots of short throws and runs to tap into his mobility. Young also made some nice throws, including his 6-yard TD toss to Nate Washington and a 7-yarder out to the sideline to Kenny Britt to keep the go-ahead TD drive alive on third down.

Young was 15 of 18 for 125 yards and had 10 runs for 32 yards before two kneel downs at the end for the Titans' first win since Dec. 21. He finished with a 114.1 passer rating that was his second highest in a start and highest since 2006 when he was Offensive Rookie of the Year.

It was exactly what owner Bud Adams wanted to see to revive a team coming off a 59-0 shutout at New England, especially for a franchise that must decide whether to keep Young after this season. Young is due a $4.25 million roster bonus in March with a deal counting $14.2 million against the salary cap in 2010.

By: Alphadog7 on 11/2/09 at 8:27

Congrats to Vince and the whole team for a solid win. I think they would have won with Collins as well yesterday, because the difference was not just the QB having a good day, the entire team was clicking. That is what it will continue to take to keep this going well. Good Luck Titans!

By: TitansFan035 on 11/2/09 at 1:26

If i remember right the same thing happen against the Texans and we lost it thanks to Skerry Collins, fumble right? Chris Johnson had a ton of yards and yet we still lost!

By: jps13pat on 11/3/09 at 1:13

Dargent, you're comparing apples with oranges when saying that VY's stats pale in comparison to Manning, Brady, etc. How many rushing yards did Manning or Brady have in the last game? I would bet you that they "pale in comparison" with the yards put up by Vince Young against Jacksonville. Quit hatin'.