By now, you’d figure that Vince Young would have it figured out. Practice hard, play hard, pay attention and stay out of trouble. Pretty easy.
But Young somehow seems to have trouble following those guidelines. He led the Tennessee Titans to a 29-10 victory over the New York Giants on Sunday, but, according to the Tennessean newspaper, he missed or arrived late to two team meetings in the days leading up to a Week 2 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Young was benched in the fourth quarter of that game by coach Jeff Fisher after throwing two interceptions and fumbling twice. Fisher sent in backup Kerry Collins despite the fact the Titans were behind by 13 points.
“I knew all eyes would be watching,'” Young said. “My teammates, I wanted to show them guys that it was definitely a rough week, but … that I put that in past and got myself prepared to play so we could get a victory. I wanted to be consistent.”
Against the Giants, Young rebounded on 10 of 16 passing for 118 yards and one touchdown. He was mistake-free and finished with a 105.7 passer rating.
“I knew ‘V’ was going to bounce back,” tight end Bo Scaife said. “That’s just his mojo. If he has a bad week then he’s going to have three or four good ones. … Everyone came down on him and wanted to raise this question about this and that, but he knows what comes with being a quarterback.”
Young has had plenty of questions. Two years ago, he disappeared one day after throwing his second interception and suffering a knee injury against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Fisher, after speaking with members of Young’s family, called Nashville police, who found him after a four-hour search.
There were suspicions Young was so distraught he was suicidal. Those were denied all the way around, but it has made everyone pay attention to his actions ever since. Just like now.
He’ll need more games like Sunday’s to make people forget his past. And it would help to do the little things, like attending team meetings when he’s supposed to.