Tag:Vince Young
Posted on: July 5, 2011 3:49 pm
Edited on: July 5, 2011 5:03 pm
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Hot Routes 7.05.11: Somebody wants Haynesworth



Posted by Ryan Wilson
  • Michael Clayton, the Bucs first-round pick in 2004, says his football career isn't over. In the last two seasons he caught 18 passes for 249 yards. After spending the first six years of his career in Tampa Bay, Clayton played with the Giants in 2010.
  • When Plaxico Burress was released from prison last month, the Eagles were considered one of the teams most likely to sign him. Now that the new-freedom smell has worn off, it sounds as if Burress is near the bottom of Philly's offseason to-do list.
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Posted on: July 3, 2011 9:03 pm
Edited on: July 3, 2011 9:59 pm
 

Henne wants to start, has talked to Marshall

Posted by Ryan Wilson

When asked last month if Chad Henne would be the Dolphins starting quarterback next season, coach Tony Sparano only offered up a "we'll see." (Not a ringing endorsement cut certainly better than the fate that awaits, say, Donovan McNabb in Washington.)

Henne, as you might expect, feels differently, telling the South Florida Sun-Sentinel's Andrew Carter, “Well that’s up to the coaching staff but I sure as heck want to be the starting quarterback for Miami Dolphins and lead them to the playoffs and the Super Bowl and I’m going to do the best I can to compete out there and earn that spot.”

It's July, but a lot can happen between now and the start of the regular season. Assuming the lockout ends in the coming days, there will be free agency. And the Dolphins haven't hidden the fact that they will probably be in the market for a veteran quarterback (Marc Bulger and Vince Young have been mentioned as possible options).

In June, Sparano talked about what Henne has accomplished in the league and what he needs to do to get better. “The one thing we’ve had time to do is a lot of homework and study,” he said. “And I would tell you when you put Chad’s numbers up against some of the better quarterbacks in our league, his numbers are pretty impressive. They hold up. Now what has to happen? We have to cut down the impulse throws, the interceptions that happen late in the fourth quarter.”

And when asked how he can improve, Henne echoed many of those sentiments. “It’s definitely the turnover ratio, I think. The biggest thing is not turning the ball over in critical situations, finishing the game in the right way in the fourth quarter and just not over-thinking things, just play the game.”

So for now it's Henne's job to lose. Of course, whether he keeps it is a function of his performance, which is in part dependent on the play of his wide receivers. The Dolphins have one of the NFL's best in Brandon Marshall who is in the news as much for his on-field performances as his off-field issues. In his first season with the Dolphins, Marshall caught 86 passes for 1,014 yards but just three touchdowns. And by January he was frustrated enough with the offense -- and Henne specifically -- to take his feelings public.

“Tyler [Thigpen] gets it a little more,” Marshall said during an appearance on Michael Irvin’s radio show. “He had an opportunity to play with Dwayne Bowe in Kansas City and they made some plays out there so I guess he understands [about] throwing the ball to a big receiver a little more than Chad Henne,” he said.

Last season, Thigpen and Marshall went off script during a game against the Patriots, and the decision wasn't well received by quarterbacks coach David Lee. “They expect me to run an in-route, but me as a player, when we get singled with no safety over the top I want to take a shot and just converted it to a go,” Marshall said at the time, according to the Sun-Sentinel's Omar Kelly. “Seemed like an easier throw, easier play was the go route.”

PFT reported that Dolphins wide receiver Brian Hartline agreed with Marshall, saying that the Dolphins seldom deviated from the game plan and the offense sometimes needs to “make … plays off schedule.”

Henne was frank when asked recently about his relationship with Marshall. “Yeah, I mean we had our ups and downs last year," he said. "And some not-so friendly exchanged words but we’ve talked in the off-season. I’ve been sending him some of the playbooks so he can pick up on that because he’s been bouncing around with some of the things that have gone on in the past. But he’s still a good guy, he just speaks up sometimes when you don’t want him to. But he’s a great player and you definitely want him on your side.”

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Posted on: June 30, 2011 9:34 am
Edited on: June 30, 2011 9:49 am
 

Dolphins have very specific FA targets?

Posted by Will Brinson

The Miami Dolphins have -- already -- had an interesting offseason. The running back combo of Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown appears headed out the door (and the Fins still passed on Mark Ingram) and, as previously noted, questions about Chad Henne remain (and the Fins still passed on various quarterbacks).

Oh yes, and owner Stephen Ross publicly pursued Jim Harbaugh while Tony Sparano was still employed, failed to land the then-Stanford coach and then had to give Sparano a raise.

This friction across three key areas has created a need come free agency -- Omar Kelly of the Miami Sun-Sentinel writes that the Dolphins have a couple of very specific targets between now and whenever the season starts.

First, Kelly believes they'll add a veteran quarterback, but not a Chad Pennington-style backup-type. Kelly believes it will be someone who will be "savvy enough to push -- if not unseat -- [Henne]"; names he floats include Carson Palmer, Kevin Kolb, Matt Flynn, Vince Young, Matt Hasselbeck, Donovan McNabb and Rex Grossman.

That's a pretty, pretty wide spectrum of quarterbacks, but the point is salient -- the Dolphins will get another quarterback who expects to get a shot at starting.

They're also going to get a "tailback who has the ability to run stretch plays … that gets to the EDGES," Kelly writes. The biggest name associated with Miami thus far has been the Panthers' DeAngelo Williams; Carolina's repeatedly said it wants Williams back, but depending on how free agency shakes out, it seems less and less likely that re-signing him would be a prudent move.

There are other available names, though: Ahmad Bradshaw, Darren Sproles and Reggie Bush are names Kelly hears from "reliable sources."

Those guys make a lot of sense, especially if the Dolphins have interest in bringing back Ricky -- a combo of Sproles or Bush plus Williams would be a solid 1-2 punch out of the backfield.

All that's easier said than done, of course, but it's pretty clear what the Dolphins need, and there's good news for Fins fans, because it lines up nicely with what Miami wants.

And, provided free agency plays out as expected, the open market might be spot-on for those voids as well.

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Posted on: June 29, 2011 1:30 pm
Edited on: June 30, 2011 9:28 am
 

Eagles might be good fit for Vince Young

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Five years ago, Vince Young was coming off a national championship performance with Texas, and the Titans had just taken him with the third overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft.

A lot has happened since then.

Once the lockout ends, so too will Young's tenure in Tennessee. Where he ends up remains unclear. Partly because NFL teams aren't officially permitted to comment on other teams' players, but mostly because the rumor mill has been quiet on Young's future (which hasn't been the case for every veteran free agent quarterback -- see here, here, here and here, for examples).

So far, we've heard new Titans coach Mike Munchak say Young won't be back, and the Vikings and Dolphins are either not interested or have concerns about his attitude. Not exactly a ringing endorsement of his abilities as an NFL quarterback.

Which brings us to NFL.com senior analyst Pat Kirwan. He has some thoughts on which situation could be mutually beneficial for Young and the team who lands him.

“I’ve felt, all along, that Young needs a year to disappear and not be stuck in a lineup on a bad team where he would struggle,” Kirwan said Tuesday. “To me, the best place for him to go is Philadelphia once Kevin Kolb is traded. Let’s see if Michael Vick’s newfound preparation skills will rub off on Young.”

To be fair, most players in untenable situations would benefit from not being "stuck in a lineup on a bad team where they would struggle." That's why Young was drafted third overall -- to be a franchise quarterback. It's a lot easier to be that guy when you're surrounded by a bunch of Pro Bowlers; it's a little tougher to do it on an awful team.

But scouting is an inexact science; in retrospect, Young probably shouldn't have been a top-10 selection (or maybe even a first-round pick). That doesn't mean he's destined to the life of a backup (though he could be), just that he's yet to prove that he's a full-time NFL starter. Maybe sitting behind Vick would serve him well. Or maybe Young would be unhappy in that role, just like he was unhappy behind Kerry Collins in Tennessee.

But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, there are a few things to sort out. First, the lockout needs to end. We appear to be heading in the right direction on that front. Next, the Eagles need to trade Kolb (the latest report is that Philly wants players, not draft picks for Kolb). Then, if Philly thought Young could be a good fit in their system, they'd have to sign him.

That makes for a lot of "ifs" but, ultimately, how Vince Young's NFL career plays out will be up to -- you guessed it -- Vince Young. 

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Posted on: June 19, 2011 6:15 pm
Edited on: June 19, 2011 6:52 pm
 

Sparano on Henne starting for Miami: 'We'll see'

Posted by Ryan Wilson

This much we know: once the lockout ends, the Dolphins will be adding a veteran quarterback. Whether the veteran will also be a starter is largely up to incumbent Chad Henne, who has been inconsistent the previous two seasons spanning 27 starts.

No word on who the Dolphins will target to push Henne; it could be Vince Young, but with the obvious "concerns about maturity" caveats. Earlier this month the Miami Herald's Barry Jackson wrote that "(One) official who has spoken with the Dolphins said there’s concern about whether Young would be happy as a backup if Henne beat him out. Remember, Young wasn’t happy when he lost his job in Tennessee. Speaking about no one specifically, Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland said, 'You can’t guess about' a quarterback’s 'accountability and dependability.' Those have been issues with Young."

At this point, with the labor negotiations ongoing and free-agency rules uncertain, the list of possible candidates to challenge Henne is up in the air. When asked recently if Henne would be the starter, coach Tony Sparano said, "We'll see." Not exactly a vote of confidence, but it's all relative

Jackson, writing in Sunday's Herald, adds context.
If Cincinnati trades Carson Palmer — the Dolphins are pessimistic — or if Denver takes a midround pick for Kyle Orton, then everything changes. And it’s possible any of a number of free agents could beat out Henne, though ESPN’s Chris Mortensen said it’s unlikely Miami will sign Vince Young.

“The one thing we’ve had time to do is a lot of homework and study,” Sparano said from his golf cart at a team charity event. “And I would tell you when you put Chad’s numbers up against some of the better quarterbacks in our league, his numbers are pretty impressive. They hold up. Now what has to happen? We have to cut down the impulse throws, the interceptions that happen late in the fourth quarter.”
There were times last season when Henne looked like a perfectly competent NFL QB, and other times he looked like the next coming of Kyle Boller. That's what's so frustrating for Sparano, and clearly what he's talking about with "impulse throws."

Henne ranked 26th in passer rating in 2010, but according to Football Outsiders, he was 17th in total value and 22nd in value per play, ahead of Mark Sanchez, Ryan Fitzpatrick and David Garrard.

As for what Sparano's looking for next season, Jackson writes, "…better accuracy on deep balls (he was 10 for 40 on passes thrown 20 yards or more); higher completion percentage in the fourth quarter than last year’s 58.6; and better production in the red zone, where 'we have to get into a mentality,' Sparano said, 'where you’re thinking about the big play first' and not a field goal.'"

Ireland says, “Chad has had some really bright moments for our franchise. I’m anxious to see him continue his development and see how it goes.”

Whatever happens in the coming weeks, one thing is guaranteed: Chad Pennington won't be in the running to supplant Henne. Not this season, anyway.

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Posted on: June 19, 2011 6:15 pm
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Posted on: June 19, 2011 1:00 pm
 

Collins wants to return to Titans ... to start

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Here's the deal: Kerry Collins would like to return to the Titans in 2011. We know this because he's said it before, more than once. Collins mentioned it last week, and again Saturday, this time with one qualification. Via the twitter feed of the Tennessean's Jim Wyatt:

"Kerry Collins reiterates he'd like to return to Titans next year but made it clear he'd like to be starter, not a backup."

There's a huge difference between, "Yeah, I'd love to come back" and "Yeah, I'd love to come back … as a starter." Especially when the Titans drafted their most recent quarterback of the future, Jake Locker. There's also this: Tennessee guard Jake Scott said last month that Collins could decide to walk away from football, rather than play the role of Locker's "nursemaid."

But Titans general manager Mike Reinfeldt has said from the beginning that the Titans won't rush Locker and that they'd pursue a veteran quarterback. That could mean giving Collins a legitimate chance to compete for the starting gig, or bringing in another veteran like Matt Hasselbeck. Or, if the lockout is resolved in the coming weeks and Locker plays lights during training camp, he very well could begin the season under center.

If Reinfeldt and new coach Mike Munchak are making a pros and cons list for possible veteran QBs to bridge the gap to Locker, Hasselbeck would have to get a slight edge over Collins. At 35, he's three years younger, and appears to be more amenable to the mentor role at this stage of his career.

You don't get that impression from Collins, who told Wyatt: "(Locker's) a kid who could learn from a guy like me. Hopefully he'd watch what I do and take lessons."

Yes, because that strategy worked so well when the Titans tried it with Vince Young.

(Yes, we know, that had everything to do with Young and nothing to do with Collins. And it's also why Tennessee drafted Locker. But if Locker is the best quarterback in camp, he should win the job. It's not like Collins has to play in order to teach Locker the nuances of the position. Plus, there are worse fates than getting paid a player's salary to be nothing more than a glorified coach.)

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Posted on: June 17, 2011 4:30 pm
Edited on: June 17, 2011 6:13 pm
 

Hot Routes 6.17.11: Palmer still could be traded



Posted by Ryan Wilson
  • When quarterback Carson Palmer said he would retire if the Bengals didn't trade him, owner Mike Brown didn't budge. And Brown still hasn't. But NBC Sunday Night Football analyst Cris Collinsworth, who played for the Bengals in the 1980s, thinks Brown will eventually cave and try to move Palmer.
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