Vince Young said Wednesday that in his conversation with Coach Jeff Fisher earlier this off-season he told the Titans head coach that he wanted nothing given to him as he tried to work his way back into the starting quarterback role.
“I basically told him, I don’t want him to give me anything,” Young said after Wednesday’s OTA practice. “I just want to come in here and take care of my responsibilities and earn everything. Whatever I’m given, I want it to be what I earn. That’s basically what I told him.”
Since last season’s fall from grace, Young has apparently been doing some soul searching and is in the process of dedicating more time to the craft of being an NFL quarterback.
“I’ve been watching a lot more film, studying more defenses, and watching a lot of old things back in the day of what guys were trying to do to me, and just getting in shape,” Young said. “The last couple of years I’ve been injured and a lot of different things have been going on with my body. I’ve basically just been getting my body right and working on my mental game, getting in the room with [quarterbacks coach] Craig Johnson and getting some extra film work behind the scenes.”
His goals: To improve his reading of opposing defenses by studying more and doing more.
“It goes back to taking care of my responsibilities, being here with the guys and doing the extra things to better myself,” Young said. “Kerry Collins is a veteran. He knows the game, he has seen probably every defense you can throw at him. I want to get to the point that when I get behind center that I’m very comfortable reading defenses and doing the same as what he’s seeing. That’s pretty much what I’ve been doing, just studying the game and getting my health right and learning the business of the NFL.
Young said he attributes his new approach to “growing up.”
“It’s just growing up. That’s part of it,” he said. “I’m about to be 26 years old now, and it’s just a part of growing up and learning the game and learning the business. I’m learning a lot behind the scenes and paying attention to things that are going on.”
Titans coach Jeff Fisher said thus far he has been pleased with Young, who has been a regular participant in the off-season program that began in mid-March. Last year, Young spent a good portion of the off-season taking classes at the University of Texas.
“He’s been great. He’s come out and he’s worked with Mike [Heimerdinger] and Craig and the receivers and he’s doing what everybody else has been doing. It’s a non-issue. He’s competing and trying to get better,” Fisher said.
Still, there is the question that after last year’s fall from grace that began with his being booed after an interception against Jacksonville in the season opener, how will fans respond to Young and vice versa when he takes steps under center at LP Field in preseason.
“I’m not really paying attention to that. I hope the fans still love me, but if not, that’s not anything I’m worried about,” Young said. “I’m worried about my teammates and playing the game and just winning football games, and doing what I can to help our guys get to the Super Bowl.”
As for the other major issue on the horizon with Young _ his $14 million cap number in 2010 _ that will have to wait.
“All the business part, I leave it to the guys upstairs and [agent] Major [Adams] and those guys,” Young said. “When they bring me information and ask how I feel about certain things, I answer those questions. But right now, I’m just focusing on football right now.”