Is that an awesome title or what? (don’t answer)
Clark Judge of CBS Sports is reporting that Vince Young will become the Eagles backup QB. He didn’t give a specific time line, but with the Kolb deal done and Vince a free man due to his release, you’d think this would be a move that got done quickly.
***** UPDATE: Albert Breer now reports that Young has agreed to a 1-year deal with the Eagles. *****
Let’s talk about Vince for a minute. We’ll start with the positives. Vince is incredibly gifted. He is big and athletic. He has a strong arm. Great runner. He is one of the great QBs in the history of college football. He might be the greatest QB in the history of the Rose Bowl. He was able to put his team on his back and carry them to victory. That winning followed Vince to the NFL. He has a career record of 30-17 in the NFL. He was Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2006 and had 8-5 record as a starter. He led them to the playoffs the next year.
2008 was Vince’s weird year / low point. He was “missing” for a while after a game and there was some bizarre suicide watch. It turned out to be a mole hill/mountain situation, but Vince lost his job to Kerry Collins and sat most of the year. He started 18 games in 2009 and 2010 combined. The Titans then decided Vince wasn’t going to be part of the future and released him.
Vince has the skills to be a Pro Bowl QB. Take away his rookie year and he’s basically a 60% passer. He combined for 20 TDs and just 10 INTs in the 18 starts over 2009 and 2010. I’ve seen him lead some impressive comebacks. Look at this write-up I did on him in November 2009 for ScoutsNotebook:
* Vince Young had a terrific game. He was 27-43-387 with 1 TD. The highlight of course was the game winning drive. TEN got the ball at their own 1 with 2:37 on the clock (“What’s in room 237? Ain’t nothing in room 237″). Vince led the Titans on an epic 18-play, 99-yard drive for the winning TD. That drive showed me a lot. Vince didn’t have to use a timeout until the Titans got inside the Arizona 10-yard line. Chris Johnson, arguably the most explosive player in the whole league, didn’t have a touch on the drive. There were no long plays. It was a methodical drive. They had to convert on 3 different 4th down plays. Vince never panicked. He didn’t flinch. He ran the offense. His passes were on time and on target. One pass early in the drive was really impressive. Vince threw to Kenny Britt, who was tightly covered. Vince put the ball up in the air so that Britt could go get it. Aggressive and smart. Decisive. You must give your playmakers a chance to help you. I did think that RT David Stewart got away with holding on the TD pass that won the game.
Vince had one major screw up in the game. Late in the half TEN was in FG range. They had less than 10 seconds left and decided to run a play. Vince had to throw the ball to the sidelines or into the end zone. He took a sack and the Titans weren’t able to run the FG team out before the clock expired. That play proved huge late in the game. Had TEN kicked the FG they would not have needed to score a TD at the end of the game.
Whether or not the Titans are able to pull off a miracle and get into the playoffs, their fans should be ecstatic. Vince Young has shown that he is back. The guy we saw at Texas and in his first couple of years in the NFL has returned. I see a QB who can throw and run. I see a guy who can lead his team from behind. I see a leader and a winner.
Pretty glowing, huh? I also said some not so nice things. I wrote in June that I had no interest in Young because I didn’t want a project as the backup QB on a Super Bowl contender. And that is the enigma/puzzle/mystery that is Vince Young. On his good days, he can be magical. Other times, you don’t know what to expect. He let fan pressure get to him in Tennessee. How the heck is he gonna handle Philly? He wasn’t always coachable in Tennessee. How’s he gonna handle Reid and Mornhinweg?
Vick had issues when he was a Falcon, but he went to prison and that was what changed him. Vince hasn’t had to change. He can if he wants to. Vince must embrace coming to the Eagles (assuming all this is true) and doing things the Eagle way. There is offensive structure here. He needs to aggressively study the playbook and focus in the meeting rooms. We have great teachers here in Philly, but the student must meet them halfway.
Vince cannot learn the West Coast Offense in a month. The coaches can simplify things for him, but even that requires Vince mastering some basics. He must learn the terminology. Hopefully Vick won’t get hurt and Vince can spend the year learning the system, but we can’t count on that. What do we do if Vick goes down early? Mike Kafka could start for a game or two. He knows the playbook. He just lacks experience. Vince has experience and more talent. If he knows enough of the offense to be functional, the job would absolutely be his.
The good news with Vince is that he’s talented enough to improvise in some situations and just make plays. You don’t want that every week, but it doesn’t hurt when a backup is first playing. At that point, you want to keep the chains moving and points going up on the board. Doesn’t matter how.
I know some people will point to AJ Feeley in 2002 and his ability to win. Different team. We had a terrific defense. We had great Special Teams. Brian Mitchell was a weapon as our RS. We could run the ball and throw just enough. This Eagles team is an offensive juggernaut. We must have a high powered passing game to be at our best. That requires a skilled passer. We must get the ball to LeSean, DeSean, Maclin, Avant, and Celek.
I don’t see Vince Young as an ideal fit for the 2011 Eagles, but there’s no denying the guy’s talent. We also have to think the presence of Mike Vick will have a major impact on Vince. If Mike tells him to study, that’s gonna have more impact than hearing it from Doug Pederson or someone like that. If Vince does buy in and really go all out, the sky is the limit for him. He could do himself a world of good if he’ll take advantage of the coaching done by Reid, Mornhinweg, Pederson, and the whole offensive staff.
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Eagles RB target Darren Sproles signed with the Saints on a 2-year deal. That’s okay with me. I wanted a bigger back. Clinton Portis and Cadillac Williams are guys I still like a lot. Marion Barber fascinates me as well. I re-watched the WAS/HOU game from 2010 recently. Portis ran over a LB for a short TD. I’d love a RB like that in the Red Zone. Portis also had a great hustle play on a play-action pass. McNabb fake the ball to him and threw to the TE down the left sideline. Portis took off after the fake and flew down the sideline. He got in a huge block on a defender and helped the play go for a huge gain. Great, great, great hustle. I love watching Portis play. Too bad he’s so odd off the field.
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I got a lot of great questions from the comments section. I’ll answer them in a post for the morning. This is long enough for now.