Watching difficult for VY
Posted: Thursday, October 16, 2008 6:16 pm
By: By TERESA M. WALKER, AP Sports Writer
NASHVILLE (AP) — Watching from the sideline isn’t easy for Vince Young. The Tennessee quarterback who lost his starting job to veteran Kerry Collins when he hurt his knee says he hasn’t the slightest idea if the Titans will be his team again some day.
“You’ve got to ask Coach Fish that,” Young said of Titans coach Jeff Fisher on Wednesday. “I’m just sitting back, playing my part in my position where he has me right now.”
Collins replaced Young after he sprained his left knee in the Titans’ opener. Fisher announced after the Titans’ second win that Collins would remain their starter as long as they keep winning, and the 14-year veteran has responded by going 4-0 since taking over a team that now has the NFL’s last undefeated record at 5-0.
Fisher wasn’t available after Young talked with reporters. But the coach has called Young their franchise quarterback who’s now in a position to watch a veteran at work, which Young didn’t get the chance to do as a rookie.
Young is 18-12 as a starter and under contract through 2011. He didn’t return to practice until Oct. 1, and the Titans have treated the No. 3 pick overall in the 2006 draft carefully.
He stayed home to rehabilitate his knee when the Titans hit the road and beat Cincinnati 24-7, watched their 31-12 win over Houston from the coaches’ box and sat on the sideline for the 30-17 win over Minnesota in street clothes.
He practiced the entire week leading into their fifth game and was moved to Collins’ backup, pushing Chris Simms to No. 3. Young dressed and was on the sideline for the 13-10 win at Baltimore. He handled 80 percent of the first-team offense during the first two practices while resting Collins, and Young split the work with the veteran in the final practice last week.
Young said it’s been hard to handle because he’s a competitor.
“I’ve always been a competitor. I always play hard and things like that. I can’t do nothing about that. That’s the boss. The boss says, ‘Go with 5,’” Young said referring to Collins by his jersey number.
“And all I can do is be supportive of 5 and ask questions and pay attention to what he’s going through as the veteran quarterback that he is, some of the decisions that he makes out on the football field and just pay attention.”
Young said he is concentrating on healing up his knee, which he estimated as nearly healed but not 100 percent yet. He wasn’t on the Titans’ injury report issued Wednesday. He also is paying attention to the offense, asking questions and denied reports that he isn’t tapping Collins’ experience.
“I don’t know what that’s going around, but that’s my guy, that’s my man. We have a lot of respect for each other, and he helps me out, not just football. He helps me out with accounting, money, all … type of things. I just want to get that out,” Young said.
He made national news when Fisher called police for help finding the quarterback the day after he sprained his knee, an incident they all called blown out of proportion even though SWAT officers and crisis negotiators were on hand to assist.
Young, who hadn’t spoken with reporters in Nashville since Sept. 11, told NECSports.com Wednesday that he wasn’t trying to commit suicide. He followed up by talking with local reporters and was asked what he had learned in dealing with adversity.
“Basically, I’m just alive. I can’t really talk about all that right now, but there’s a lot I’m learning. It’s a business,” he said.
Young said he is working to know the offense and be ready if needed.
“Even though I’m not playing … I’m still happy that we are 5-0 and still happy we’re winning ballgames,” Young said.
Notes: Defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch (groin) did not practice but said he feels well enough he thinks he will play Sunday at Kansas City (1-4). Defensive tackle Tony Brown (ankle) and receiver Justin Gage (knee) also did not practice. Receiver Justin McCareins (hamstring) was limited.