Vince Young wants no part of any quarterback controversy.
Despite the fact that Jeff Fisher has squashed any notion of changing quarterbacks by proclaiming that Kerry Collins is still the Tennessee Titans starter, that hasn’t stopped fans and even some in the media from wondering if Young, the former first-round pick and starter, deserves another shot.
Young said Wednesday, speaking on the subject for the first time, that he stands behind Collins, his teammates and the coaches’ decisions on the matter.
“I’m not interested in none of that right now. I’m just focused on my responsibilities. I have no comment on that,” Young said. “[I’m going to] be a supporter and just be a team player, be the eyes for him on the sidelines. That’s basically it. That’s what quarterbacks do is take up for each other.”
Barring an injury to Collins, Young’s only other potential avenue back to playing time would be for Collins and the team to continue to struggle. And that is not a road Young wants his team to have to go down.
“I’m not looking for us to lose to get back in the game. That’s like saying no respect for your teammates,” Young said. “I definitely have a lot of respect for my teammates. I’ve got their back 100 percent. If they’re struggling, we’re all struggling. It’s not just one person. We’re all struggling. We need to put all the pieces back together so we can get everything right.”
As the Titans prepare for Sunday night’s game with Indianapolis, Collins said that talk of switching quarterbacks just naturally comes with the territory when a team struggles out of the gate as Tennessee has.
“It’s part of the territory. That’s just part of it,” Collins said. “When you struggle and you lose a few ballgames, the first guy they look at is the quarterback. That’s just part of it. I’ve been through it before, and every quarterback that has played long enough has been through it, with the exception of maybe just a couple.”
Collins did say he appreciates the support of Fisher as well as that of his teammates.
“I appreciate the fact that he’s gone to bat for me publicly. A lot of coaches wouldn’t do that,” Collins said. “So I do appreciate that, and it makes me want to do that much better for him. I feel like I still have the support of my teammates, and I think they know I’m doing everything I can to try and win, just like I know they are.”
Receiver Justin Gage said Collins has the backing of the locker room despite the tough times.
“We definitely have confidence in Kerry. He’s a veteran guy. He knows how to bounce back. It’s something he’s been doing for years,” Gage said.
As for the talk that goes on, Collins has found ways to block it out.
“Actually, it’s very easy for me. I swear to you. I haven’t listened to talk radio in I can’t tell you how long,” he said. “I’ve just learned over the years and I just ignore that stuff. I’m not stupid. I know what’s said, but if you don’t listen to it, it’s not being said. You know, what I mean?”
Meanwhile, Collins is directing his focus toward Sunday night’s game with the Indianapolis Colts with the idea of helping the Titans snap out of their 0-4 funk.
“My main focus is getting a win. I don’t pay attention to it. I’m focused back in on what I need to do this week,” Collins said.
Likewise, Young says he is taking care of his role this week as well.
“I always want to play, but I can’t do nothing about that except to be our scout team quarterback and make sure our defense gets good looks and make sure they’re getting themselves ready to play,” Young said. “My job is to stay in the game mentally and to stay ready.”