Since falling out of favor with the Tennessee Titans in 2010, Vince Young's slide to the bottom of the quarterback food chain has been precipitous and eventful. The highlights include:
- Backing up Michael Vick in Philadelphia in 2011 and pronouncing the Eagles a "Dream Team," a hex on that franchise that is still inflicting damage to this day.
- Signing with Buffalo in the preseason in 2012, but losing his shot at backing up Ryan Fitzpatrick to Tarvaris Jackson. (Read that one again, VY sycophants -- he didn't lose a shot at replacing Ryan Fitzpatrick. He lost a shot at replacing the guy who backs up Ryan Fitzpatrick. Also, that guy happens to be Tarvaris Jackson, who is terrible.)
- After Vince left Buffalo, reports surfaced that he was bilked out of millions of dollars by family members and that his spending habits had been extravagant enough to sustain a $5,000 per week Cheesecake Factory habit.
Well, this week ESPN's Outside The Lines tried to set the record straight with a seven-minute feature on Vince Young, a feature that was part fact-finding mission and part infomercial.
Watch the video, then we will list out what we learned here Zapruder style:
0:20 -- Before we start in on the actual feature, this is one small observation regarding the host, Steve Weissman. He keeps looking down at his notes on the desk for help introducing the piece. I've never seen Bob Ley nor any other OTL host do this before. So was the telestrator not working? Is this okay? Weissman's wiki bio says he went to the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern, so I'm assuming this is okay.
0:35 -- Vince Young has been working the last several months with quarterback "guru" George Whitfield. For those of you who don't know who that is, Whitfield is a former Arena League quarterback who has created a cottage industry by imparting his vast wisdom (Arena League!) on quarterbacks like Ben Roethlisberger, Cam Newton and Andrew Luck. He's probably best known as the guy who was trying to get the XXXL version of Donovan McNabb NFL-ready again by having him run passing drills in the waves on Newport Beach, during which Donovan was twice mistaken for a beached whale. Wisely, Whitfield did his McNabb work before getting with Vince, since I would imagine working with the fat edition of McNabb makes working with Vince feel easy by comparison.
1:15 -- George Whitfield is willing to carnival bark like a mother for Vince. Whitfield claims Young is in a place where he is saying to himself, "I can systematically and consistently do what I want to on a football field." It's amazing how that never happened while he was playing against actual NFL competition, but playing on sand against cones resulted in some kind of epiphany. Truly amazing. And if you call right now, NFL teams, not only will you get Vince Young, but you'll get this Vince Young, 2006 Rose Bowl t-shirt...ABSOLUTELY FREE!!!
1:39 -- Quick aside...they just showed Vince scoring on the Texans....grrrrr....
2:45 -- Vince's English has not improved greatly during his hiatus. "I really feel like that what kinda hurted my whole career." That was his quote regarding his tiff with former Titans head coach Jeff Fisher, and he's right. That did hurted his whole career. It hurted it badly.
3:35 -- Vince's grandmother approves of how he's going about his business. And not surprisingly, Vince politely approves of her approval. Yes, ma'am.
4:10 -- The "heels" in the storyline arc of this seven-minute piece are Keith Young and Major Adams. The problems started when Vince let the foxes into the henhouse, and that would be selecting Keith Young (Vince's dad's brother) as his manager and Major Adams (a longtime friend) as his agent. This was easily the worst decision for representation since Ricky Williams chose Master P to negotiate his rookie deal with the New Orleans Saints, and somehow Williams came away with a contract that was nearly all incentive based to play for a team that traded its entire draft for him. What is it with UT guys?
4:40 -- If Major Adams knew what he was going to do to Vince, then he's the worst guy ever. Direct quote from Major Adams in 2006: "[Vince] wants people around him that knows (sic) him, not just someone that showed up on his porch out of the night to take his earnings." Five seconds later they showed a still shot of Young's lawsuit claiming Adams defrauded him of $5.5 million. SCUM. BAG.
(Sidebar: True Adams story. When Vince went AWOL on the Titans in early 2008, Major Adams came on my radio show to debunk some of the rumors that were floating around about Vince and the possibility that he was suicidal. After the interview, I spoke to Adams off the air, at which time he promised that "maybe" we would get Vince himself on our show if we said good things about him. I laughed out loud. Literally.)
5:10 -- Major Adams and Keith Young are not even good at fraud. Adams has had his lawyer's license suspended for unpaid taxes and fees. Keith Young had his $800,000 home foreclosed upon back in February.
5:51 -- If you believe Vince, the reports about his extravagant spending at bars and restaurants are not true. After Vince's shoddy finances came to light, Nashville residents came out of the woodwork with stories about Vince picking up bar tabs and going nuts at local eateries. Vince claims that maybe as a rookie these things happened since tradition says rookies get jammed with bar tabs all the time, but the rest is totally fabricated. (All along, I thought the weekly $5,000 tabs at Cheesecake Factory and TGI Friday's sounded like bullshit. You know how many southwestern egg rolls you have to buy to run up a $5k tab??)
6:20 -- If you believe Vince Young, he's not broke. But he has gone through a lot of money. "We all did," he admitted in the piece.
I've claimed all along that Vince Young will get another shot at the NFL. Whether he makes an opening weekend roster is another story altogether, but in a league where maybe half the teams have below average starting quarterback play, someone will kick tires on Vince in the preseason, I guarantee it.
Young's issues are as much character-related (or perception of character, at the very least) as they are physical (i.e., can he still play?), and pieces like the one on Outside The Lines are the first step in character rehabilitation and, eventually, employment.
Just ask Bobby Petrino.
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