Tag:Vince Young
Posted on: June 11, 2011 4:05 pm

Titans won't cut Britt; Collins wants to return

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Once the lockout is lifted -- and that looks like it could happen before July -- the Tennessee Titans will have plenty of personnel decisions to make. In addition to determining if first-round pick Jake Locker can be the Week 1 starter, there's also the small matter of wide receiver Kenny Britt, who can't seem go very long without getting arrested.

Britt's most recent arrest -- his sixth since the Titans drafted him in 2009 -- came Wednesday. But if professional sports have taught us anything it's that talent trumps just about everything else, including character.

It's ironic that we hear so much about the perils of "off-field issues" in the weeks and months leading up to the NFL Draft, when the reality is that "character concerns" work on a sliding scale. A college player projects to be a mediocre pro? He's dropped from most NFL teams' draft board because he's not worth the hassle. But if he projects to be a possible Pro Bowler, there's a willingness to look past certain personality flaws because … well, at the end of the day, the NFL is a business. And, in general, winning is good for business.

So while a lesser player would be in line for his release (teams can't cut players during a lockout), Britt's job is safe. It's one of the perks that come with being a big-play wideout.

Tennessee, more than most teams, is familiar with giving second and third chances to at-risk players. "Under [former head coach Jeff] Fisher, the Titans had a reputation for bending to help players with baggage -- Adam 'Pacman' Jones, Albert Haynesworth and Randy Moss being recent examples," NFL.com's Albert Breer writes. "New coach Mike Munchak wants a more structured environment, and those in the organization expect him to come down hard on Britt whenever the three-month-old lockout ends."

Breer adds that the Titans consider Britt the second-best player on the roster after Chris Johnson. And while they aren't close to giving up on him they will discipline him. Whatever the Titans decided, the league could weigh in, too. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has said previously that player misconduct during the lockout could be reviewed once there is a new collective bargaining agreement. Which means that Britt, like Brandon Marshall, could be subject to the league's personal conduct policy.

As for who might be throwing Britt the ball this fall, the list of possible candidates is ever-expanding. We know that the Vince Young era in Tennessee will be over before the ink is dry on a new CBA, but Locker, Matt Hasselbeck, and Kerry Collins are all contenders. General manager Mike Reinfeldt has said from the beginning that the Titans won't rush Locker and that they'd pursue a veteran quarterback.

Hasselbeck's name was floated earlier in the week, and Collins, who sounded like he had taken his last snap for the Titans, told the Tennessean's Jim Wyatt that he definitely wants to come back in 2011. No word on if he's willing to be a nursemaid, however.

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Posted on: June 8, 2011 9:32 pm
Edited on: June 8, 2011 11:02 pm

Could Hasselbeck be Locker's mentor in Tennessee?

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Matt Hasselbeck may not be long for Seattle, but whatever professional fate awaits him, it's hard to argue that he's not a leader. When healthy, Hasselbeck has been the Seahawks' starting quarterback every year since 2001, and he led the team to a Super Bowl appearance in 2006.

Currently a free agent, Hasselbeck is still organizing team training sessions during the lockout. Doug Farrar, writing for SportsPressNW.com, says that Hasselbeck ran Friday's workout "with a sense of order and command that exhibited his value beyond stats and plays to his team."

There's a sense among some in the media that once the labor issues are resolved, the Seahawks will choose not to re-sign Hasselbeck and instead move forward with Charlie Whitehurst at quarterback.  That doesn't mean there won't be a market for him, though. Sports Illustrated's Peter King and Jim Trotter think that Tennessee is a "sensible" landing spot; the Titans will jettison Vince Young before the season, and it would be both cruel and inhumane to throw rookie Jake Locker into the starting job with no OTAs or minicamp -- and possibly an abbreviated training camp.

For now, though, the Titans, like many teams around the league, are making the best of an imperfect situation. Players held unofficial workouts at a Nashville high school Wednesday, and Locker was there to meet many of his teammates for the first time.

"He's got a lot of expectations on his shoulders, but for him to come in here and take command is, you know, pretty cool," Titans wideout Marc Mariani said after practice.

The NFL Network's Steve Wyche was on hand and noted that not only is Locker trying to learn his playbook without the assistance of Titans coaches, he's also trying to get on the same page with a lot of new faces.

There's no way of knowing what plans -- both immediate and long term -- the organization has for Locker, but running back Chris Johnson seems to think Tennessee's offense will feature the rookie first-rounder whenever the season starts.

"Everybody knows [Jake's] going to be the starting quarterback so he needs to be ready come Game 1," Johnson told the media after the workout. "So he's just trying to get ready."

If the Titans decided to sign Hasselbeck, he would face many of the same challenges as Locker, but with the benefit of 13 years of NFL experience.

Wyche's colleague, Jason La Canfora, said on Wednesday's NFL Total Access that "Tennessee would make a lot of sense (for Hasselbeck) … who has ties to key figures in that front office: (general manager )Mike Reinfeldt, (VP of player personnel) Ruston Webster. … And most importantly, he's already mentored Jake Locker, who was at the University of Washington. They have a working relationship. … Hasselbeck could come in, start right away, and help Locker progress."

It's too early to predict how this all plays out, but this much is certain: Kerry Collins ain't interested in being a nursemaid. Hasselbeck is a good fit given his history with Locker, even if it's a one-year stint to bridge the gap between the old franchise QB (Vince Young) and the new one.

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Posted on: June 6, 2011 9:42 am
Edited on: June 6, 2011 11:19 am

Miami has concerns about Vince Young's attitude

YoungPosted by Ryan Wilson

In today's edition of News That Should Surprise No One: The Miami Herald's Barry Jackson writes about the possibility the Dolphins might pursue Vince Young once the labor dispute is settled. However, Jackson dds the obvious "concerns about maturity" caveats.

"(One) official who has spoken with the Dolphins said there’s concern about whether Young would be happy as a backup if Chad 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."

To be fair, Young should have been upset when he lost his job to Kerry Collins in 2008. Not because Young deserved the job, but because he was faced with the reality of not being able to beat out a 35-year-old who went three years between being a full-time starter in the NFL (and his last gig was with the Raiders). Young started 13 games as a rookie in 2006, even making the Pro Bowl. Two seasons later he was on the bench, a vantage point he got to know pretty well until the Titans finally decided they had had enough following the 2010 season.

The thing is, Young is, well, still young. He will be 28 when the 2011 season starts. And it's not like we're talking about JaMarcus Russell here. VY isn't a kid with a ton of talent who refuses to work hard. It's just that his on-field abilities are often obscured by lapses in judgment and pouting fits. He didn't handle getting benched well, and he had frequent run-ins with then-coach Jeff Fisher. Right or wrong, have enough incidents and you develop a reputation.

But if you're willing to overlook all the baggage, Young wasn't bad last season. He completed 59.6 percent of his throws, tossed 10 touchdowns and just three interceptions, and averaged five yards a rush. According to Football Outsiders, Young ranked fifth (!) among all NFL quarterbacks in value per play behind Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Philip Rivers, and Aaron Rodgers. Henne ranked 22nd and Collins was 26th.

The issues with Young have never been physical. It's always been between the ears; his ability to deal with adversity, something that he was rarely confronted with in college.

Last month, Ireland laid out his criteria for finding veteran quarterbacks. Money quote, via the Sun-Sentinel:

“You’ve got to know what you’re going to get,” Ireland said, answering Jessie Angler’s question about the intangibles he’s looking for. “The intangible side of things. You have to know exactly what you’re going to get from the person. You can’t guess about work ethic. You can’t guess about intangibles, competitiveness, intelligence... You can’t question those things AT ALL! That’s how I’d lead the book. The intangible makeup. You have to know exactly what you’re getting.”

If Ireland thinks the Dolphins have the staff in place to get the most out of Young, then it makes sense to pursue him. But this is the same outfit that hasn't gotten anywhere with Henne in two seasons. Plus, if history is any indication, Young won't respond well if Henne wins the starting gig, and that will mean more distractions for a team that has enough of that to go around.

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Posted on: May 30, 2011 6:53 pm
Edited on: May 30, 2011 7:08 pm

Kerry Collins not cool as Locker's 'nursemaid'?

Posted by Will Brinson

There's a pretty standard presumption that Kerry Collins will wrap up his career by playing for Tennessee until a) he's done or b) Jake Locker is ready. Either possibility is probably no more than two years away, and likely only one, so it makes sense.

But maybe that's not how Collins wants to wrap up his career. Titans guard Jake Scott recently said Collins might just decide to walk away, rather than play the role of "nursemaid" for Locker.

"I'm not sure Kerry isn't going to say, 'I'm done,' and ride off into the sunset," Scott told Ross Tucker and Peter King on Sirius radio last week. "I don't think he wants to come back and be a nursemaid to a young kid. Money's not an issue to him."

There's something to be said for going out the way you want to go out. Collins doesn't come off as the type of guy who would want to show up just to help transition the franchise, especially with an entirely new regime in place.

Jeff Fisher was "his guy," and Fisher's gone. Collins has also dealt with plenty of "quarterback issues," mostly relating to the Titans willingness to yo-yo him back and forth depending on how healthy and/or sane Vince Young was at the time.

It's possible that Tennessee could struggle, and that Mike Munchak might turn to Locker if the Titans head into the second half of the coming season with a losing record, 

And that's the most nightmarish scenario for Collins, because he'd end up basically being a glorified coach and might have to ride off into the proverbial sunset as a benchwarmer.

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Posted on: May 21, 2011 12:57 pm

Ponder: 'I'm going in to take the starting job'

Posted by Will Brinson

Last we left Vikings first-round draft pick Christian Ponder, he was discussing the possibility of working out with teammates Sidney Rice and Percy Harvin.

Which is precisely what he needs to do if he wants to end up starting the first week of the season (whenever that is). Which, as he said during an "NFL Rookie Roundtable" on the NFL Network, is exactly what he wants to do.

"My view is that I was picked No. 12, they believe in me, and I believe in myself," Ponder said. ”From that time I got picked, my mindset was I’m going in to take the starting job.

"I have to earn it first, but my mindset is I’m going in and hopefully starting from Day 1."

Ponder, out of all the quarterbacks taken during the first two rounds of the draft -- and there were a lot of them! -- has the best shot to be the starter from the get-go.

The Vikings don't have an incumbent starter, they have a team that can compete right now, and Ponder's considered by many folks to be the most "NFL ready" rookie that was drafted during the 2011 NFL Draft.
Vikes Offseason

It still seems all but a given that the Vikings will target a veteran signal caller once the lockout ends, but if Ponder's working hard with his teammates and getting a grasp on the playbook, it's not necessarily a given that this veteran will have too big a head start on the former Seminole.

The type of veteran that the Vikings target might be the most indicative of whether or not they believe Ponder can kick off the season as the starter -- if Minnesota goes after a Donovan McNabb or a Matt Hasselbeck or a Kyle Orton, they probably expect Ponder to sit and learn. If they target, say, a Billy Volek or Jim Sorgi, Ponder better be ready to start rolling without training wheels.

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Posted on: May 13, 2011 4:54 pm

Report: Vikes not interested in Vince Young

Posted by Will Brinson

The Vikings, like several teams in the NFL, may have (over)drafted a quarterback in the 2011 NFL Draft. But surely they're still interested in acquiring a veteran-type quarterback who can help them win now, right?

Well, probably. But according to Steve Wyche of NFL Network, that veteran fella won't be (likely) former Titan Vince Young.

Per Wyche, Minnesota has "not had internal discussions" about Young, and at the moment he "does not appear to be under consideration" as a possible candidate to step in and mentor/bridge the gap to Christian Ponder.

This is probably a smart move. Young, despite making a Pro Bowl, hasn't been that successful in the NFL. And if you're looking for someone that fits the bill as a "let's win right now but plan on going with Ponder soon" type of quarterback, Matt Hasselbeck and Donovan McNabb are really much better options. Provided, of course, that they're available.

Those guys are looking for a spot to ride out the rest of their career and/or rejuvenate their respective value with a short contract, depending on what the team wants.
The saga of Vince Young

Young likely wants to do the same thing -- in terms of rejuvenation -- but it's hard to imagine he wants to join a team that doesn't want him long term.

The bigger problem for Young, though, is that the Vikings might not be the only team that doesn't want him at all. With the amount of teams who pulled trigger on a quarterback in the early rounds -- nearly a quarter of the league -- it's going to be tough for a guy with a rep like VY's to find starting quarterback work before the beginning of 2011.

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Posted on: May 12, 2011 5:31 pm

Hot Routes 5.12.11: Chris Harris is just awesome

Posted by Will Brinson

Got a link for the Hot Routes? Hit us up on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL).
  • Chris Harris of the Chicago Bears is a pretty chill dude, from what I know about him on Twitter. (Also, he was a Panther for a few years, so I was always a fan.) He seems to "get it" when it comes to online interaction, and if you hit him up on Twitter, he'll usually hit you back. Anyway, what he did for a Alex of Cheesehead.TV's father is pretty ridiculous. As you might guess, Alex is not a Bears fan. But his dad is, and via Twitter, page/GB">Packers+Lounge)">Alex was able to get Harris to ring up his dad on the old man's birthday.
Posted on: May 11, 2011 10:03 am

Fisher says good things about Vince Young?!?

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Wait a minute, has the world gone mad? Are dogs and cats, as Bill Murray once suggested, living together? Are we at Armageddon?

Vince's saga
Because if there’s one thing I didn’t expect to read this morning was former Titans coach Jeff Fisher praising QB Vince Young. Yes, you read that correctly. Fisher praised Young.

“Vince has won a lot of games; he’s led teams to the playoffs before,” Fisher told the NFL Network (via NFL.com). ”I believe he can (win in the NFL). It’s just a matter of him finding a place that suits him and be in the right place and work hard. But he certainly has that ability.”

Crazy, right? See this is the kind of thing I’d expect Fisher to say after days of oxygen deprivation while he’s trekking up Mount Kilimanjero. But no, he hasn’t started climbing yet. So I guess he must really mean it. Either that, or it’s the end of days.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com