Vince Young does not doubt that he has doubters.
Now with his third team in as many seasons and six years after he was named the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year, the former Tennessee Titans quarterback says he has learned to ignore those who question his ability.
“I have a huge doubter base,” he said Tuesday when he was introduced as the newest member of the Buffalo Bills. “I used to feed into that but my biggest thing is not feeding into that. You can’t make everybody happy. The only people you can make happy is your family members, your coaching staff and your teammates. The ones you do love. Those are the ones I focus on.”
Young agreed to a one-year contract with the Bills late last week. The deal reportedly was worth $2 million with the opportunity to earn an additional $1 million through playing time and performance.
He spent last year with the Philadelphia Eagles, who chose not to re-sign him. Drafted fifth overall in 2006, he started 47 games for the Titans but was released with one year remaining on his initial contract.
“My biggest thing is trying to [change my] perception and who I am as a person,” Young said. “… The biggest thing is I just want to go out and play football, help out in any way I can. That’s the biggest thing.
“I love the game of football. It’s a one-year deal. It’s an opportunity to play the game that I love. That’s my biggest thing.”
In Buffalo, he joins a team that already has a starter in Ryan Fitzpatrick and an experienced backup in Tyler Thigpen. His 46 career touchdown passes (he has 51 interceptions) are one fewer than Fitzpatrick threw over the previous two seasons.
“[Fitzpatrick] is our starting quarterback and I’m behind him 100 percent,” he said. “The biggest thing is as a, not just at my position but any position on a football field, you have to be always ready because you never know what’s going to happen. If it’s staying in shape, if it’s extra studying, whatever they have you [doing] ... getting extra throws in on Tuesdays and all during the week, that’s the biggest thing about being a backup quarterback. You’ve got to stay ready because your number could get called any minute.”
Young was 25-13 as a starter in his first four seasons with the Titans but went 5-6 the last two seasons, including 1-2 with Philadelphia. He has played just one postseason contest, a loss to San Diego in 2007.
He was 8-5 as a rookie in 2006 after the Titans opened with three straight defeats. In 2009, he went 8-2 after Tennessee opened 0-6.
There also were a number of off-the-field missteps, though. He missed a flight to Philadelphia, created concern among those close to him when he went missing following the 2008 opener, storming out of the locker room following an altercation with then-head coach Jeff Fisher in what turned out to be his final appearance for the Titans. He spent the last six games of 2010 on injured reserve.
“I have definitely learned how to handle different situations now,” he said. “I just go to work. That’s all you can do. That’s what you’ve been paid for, to be a franchise quarterback. That’s the biggest thing you have to do. That’s all I do is go to work and be in the community with the kids and the people.
“… It’s all coming together right now, all the learning process and experience. My whole thing is to come in here as well and to learn just as much so when everybody gets the chance to go out and play to showcase the talent the things that I’ve been able to learn. It’s something I’m looking forward to and I’m very happy about it.”