Vince Young said his reason for rehashing the events of last September’s saga that marred his 2008 season, was simply to get everything out in the open and address it one final time before the upcoming season.
Young spoke to the local media Wednesday, addressing his reasons for an ESPN interview in which he spoke of last September’s situation that included his reluctance to re-enter the season opener after being booed, his subsequent knee injury and his disappearance the following day after missing a scheduled MRI.
“I really just needed to get it off my chest and get it out of the way, because everybody had their opinions about the situation, and they’d never heard it come out of my mouth,” Young said. “I wanted to say what I wanted to say and get it out of the way, so you could understand how it really went down, so everybody get can a better way of going at it and just leaving it alone after that.”
Young said he hopes to finally leave the matter in the past after addressing it on ESPN’s E:60.
“Anyway I go, I had to get it out there because I know anytime I have a conversation, I was going to have to answer those questions anyway,” Young said. “I wanted to get it out in my own words, so everybody can know what was going on and what really happened and after that, let this die down like it did last time.”
As for the timing, Young said he didn’t want to open up during the season because the Titans were on their way to a 13-3 season, and that he didn’t even address his teammates openly about the matter at that time.
“They never knew. I wanted to tell them during the season, but I didn’t want to distract the guys because we were winning,” Young said. “Everybody was taking care of their responsibilities, we were winning and I didn’t want to be no distraction, so I kind of just kept quiet until it was the right time to tell the guys.”
In terms of the perception that Young quit on the Titans and his statement to ESPN that he initially didn’t want to play football for the rest of the year, Young said thoughts of quitting were greatly exaggerated.
“I don’t really feel like that nobody felt like I was quitting. That was just the media, saying I wanted to quit,” Young said. “But at the same time, like I told my teammates and like I told ESPN, I never quit. It was a TV timeout. I wanted to clear my mind and clear my head before I stepped back out on the football field.
“I don’t know any quarterback that can get back on the football field with their head not right where it needs to be at, just stepping back in that huddle with your teammates, so they can continue having that confidence when you step back into the huddle.”
In the months after, Young said he has confided in his pastor, as well as ex-Titans star Steve McNair and Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant to get through the rough spots.
“That was one short moment I felt like that, but after I sat down with my coach and sat down with some peers that I look up to, talked with some big-time celebrities that I know, and after that I cleared my mind and had a better understanding of how handle the situation and how I was trying to handle the situation,” Young said. “Like I said, I was young and immature about the situation, but I’m older now, and I’ve got a lot of people in my ear helping me get through this process, to get back to the top where I need to be at.”
For now, Young will have to wait behind Kerry Collins, who is entrenched as the Titans starter. Coach Jeff Fisher said it is important that Young realize and know his role as the backup.
“This is what’s important, that he understands his role here. There is no misunderstanding whatsoever about his role and what he needs to do,” Fisher said.
Asked whether he wished Young would keep a lower profile for now, Fisher responded, “Put yourself in his shoes. If you’re on the street, and you’re a reporter and you’ve got a chance to talk to him, you’d ask him questions.”
Young said the whole incident hurt him, but that he has gotten past it.
“It hurt me a lot, because at the same time, I give 100 percent to this team, to the fans and this organization and to this community, and how they felt about me at the time, that hurt me a whole lot, because that’s the type of guy that I am,” he said. “Because when I dedicate myself to something, I’m dedicated to it to the fullest, and when the fans did that, it kind of hurt me a whole lot. But now, I’m over that and more mature, more older now. I can’t worry the fans, about how they feel about me anymore. I’ve just got to play my ball now.”