Vince Young Ready To Soar With The Eagles

Posted: July 28th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 38 Comments »

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.

* * * * *

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.

* * * * *

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.


  • http://Website JonS

    Tommy,

    Any change the Eagles acquire Amobi Okoye?

  • http://Website Thunderlips

    I think the fact that Vince wants to sign here says a lot about his attitude. Seems like if he hadn’t been humbeled a little, he would have looked to at least compete for a starting job.

  • http://igglesblitz.com Tommy Lawlor

    I doubt Okoye is high on the list. He goes about 6’2, 310. I think Washburn would love a DT that was 6’4, 285. We’ve got guys like Okoye. Eagles think Bunk, Patt, and Laws will be productive in the new system. Dixon can be a stud in any system if he puts it all together.

  • http://igglesblitz.com Tommy Lawlor
  • http://www.draftcountdown.com Morton

    Question: Why would Vince Young be happy as a backup QB?

    This is a guy with a winning record in the NFL. Why is sitting behind another guy going to benefit him at all this year?

    I don’t see the purpose in bringing someone in as a backup QB who is actually *younger* than Vick and has almost as much NFL experience as a winning quarterback. Those kinds of situations almost always lead to QB controversies, no?

  • http://Website Iskar36

    Albert Breer posted on twitter that Vince Young reached a one year deal with the Eagles that he will sign tomorrow. I find it interesting that he only signed a one year deal. Seems to me that unless Vick gets injured for a long period of time, it benefits both the Eagles and Young to at least play a couple of seasons with the Eagles.

    @Thunderlips

    I agree with you on Vince Young wanting to come here. I think the fact that he expressed such interest in coming to the Eagles, a team that he clearly will be a backup on (especially when there are a number of teams he could at least compete for the starting spot), suggests at least some maturity on his part.

  • http://igglesblitz.com Tommy Lawlor

    @ Morton…

    Vince wanted to be a starter, but no team waited around for him to get cut. Timing hurt him. Not sure how many suitors he would have had anyway. Surprised the Raiders didn’t take a look.

    He’s still very young. One year as a backup could help him land a long term deal and job next offseason.

  • http://Website theguyotc

    “He was able to put his team on his back and carry them to victory. That winning followed Vick to the NFL.”

    I think you mean Vince. What a strange typo. Vick and Vince are totally different in just about every way.

    For shame, Tommy.

  • http://Website Eric

    How many first rounders are now on this team? 7 to 10?

    Patterson, Bunk, Graham, Babin, DRC, Watkins, Vick and Maclin?

    I guess 8. 9 if the VY thing is true.

  • http://Website ian no 2

    I’m sure the Eagles tried to sign him to a 2 year contract. Maybe Vick told him ‘don’t sign a two year contract.’ Very psyched tho. You want a backup to go in there and find a way to gut out a win, and here they get a 28 yo that has a 30-17 record in the NFL. The Fisher spat may have started out as Young messing up off the field and got hostile as Young felt that he was being kept out of games. Definitely the first step is a new situation.

  • http://igglesblitz.com Tommy Lawlor

    @ Eric…

    You forgot Marlin Jackson.

  • http://Website PhxPhilly

    Just a one-year deal is almost pointless for the Eagles. Young will not be ready early in the season. He will be learning new strategies and likely some new physical techniques. By the time he starts to get comfortable the season will be over.

    Then Vince will declare himself “fixed” and try to land a mega deal for a different team. No way the Eagles will franchise him so they will put all the effort into him to reap none of the rewards. I still really wanted Tavaris Jackson, who did not sneak under the radar as I had hoped.

  • http://Website ian no 2

    The Eagles obviously expect to make the playoffs. Vick gets knocked out in the first quarter of a playoff game… do you want (a) Delhomme to go in (b) Kafka to go in or (c) Young to go in. I think Young can play early on in a simplified ballin’ offense. Hopefully DRC brings his A game to the playoffs, but his problems have to be worked out beforehand.

  • http://igglesblitz.com Tommy Lawlor

    If Vince does get a mega-deal, the Eagles will get a Comp pick. That would be nice.

  • http://Website ian no 2

    If Young excels in extended play there’s a chance he gets franchised, assuming DJax is signed by then. The risk is just that you can’t trade him and get stuck with the contract.

  • http://Website theguyotc

    The deal has some questions at this point, but I have to think they’re going after VY for at least 1 year.

    AR has had 3 starting QBs in his tenure, and the odd man out was the one that just got traded. VY fits the mold (in an admittedly small sample) much better than Kafka or Kolb.

    I just can’t get over the deja vu. They bring in a troubled athletic quarterback as a backup to the frequently-injured and aging athletic QB starter, while proclaiming confidence in the inexperienced 3rd string (more) traditional pocket passer.

    A wager for next year: Will the Eagles trade Kafka to the Seahawks or the 49ers, and for how much?

  • http://Website Stephen

    We’ll get a second rounder for Kafka. Its what we get for all our quarterbacks lol.

    Seriously though if we get a 2nd for Kafka Ima go ahead and call AR a wizard or something, because we seem to get obscene compensation for our leftovers at QB.

    Maybe we should sign AJ feeley again and see if we can pump another draft pick out of him. He’s the gift that keeps on giving.

  • http://Website nzflyer

    VY on a one year deal. All done. This year is looking better and better by the day!

  • http://Website T_S_O_P

    @ Morton

    ‘Why would Vince Young be happy as a backup QB?’

    Because he would be backing up Michael Vick! I doubt there is a single other team he’d of come to under those circumstances.

  • http://Website anders

    @T_S_O_P

    He also said he would love to be coached by AR/MM. Seems the AR/MM QB coaching tandem got some very nice street credit around the NFL right now :)

  • http://twitter.com/cliphord Cliff

    I’m also surprised this isn’t a 2 year deal, but I’m happy with it. If Vince Young had to sub for a couple games I’m confident he could use all these offensive weapons to his advantage.

  • http://Website MikeC

    I’m with PhxPhilly. A guy with no westcoast background, who has a rap going back to college as being uncoachable on a one year deal? What are we gonna do if Vick goes down in the first five games? Run the westcoast wishbone (god know we have enough running backs for it)? I have vivid memories of Kolb getting his bell rung in the first half of the first game last year. Our O-line still has questions and we have to assume that there will be some injuries. This seems like an unnecessary gamble for a team that is pretty stocked.

  • http://Website Arby

    This is turning out to be a pretty aggressive Eagles free agency after all…

  • http://Website Eric

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe the compensation for a loss of Vince Young, dependent on a big deal, would net a 3rd rounder? Because he wouldn’t be hitting the over 30 rule or whatever where you can, at best, net a 5th round pick. Unless the new CBA doesn’t have that.

    Sam will have to comment.

  • http://Website Arby

    @Eric
    I believe you are correct.

    Eagles signed RB Derrick Locke. He’s 5’9” – tall by Smurf standards.. Not sure he’ll make it.

  • http://Website Eric

    Tommy,

    Is Nnamdi finding out the market isn’t as great as he thought it would be? I’m still for getting this guy even with DRC on board. Asante isn’t always healthy and nothing wrong with having 3 good corners. If the Jets are the only competition, I don’t see why he wouldn’t come cheaper than everyone thought he’d originally get.

  • http://twitter.com/cliphord Cliff

    I’m not so sure we signed VY to “rebuild” him the way we did Mike Vick. Look at the backup QB options available and there aren’t many players left who you can just throw in to the battle. At the very least, VY can scrape together a half with the offensive weapons we have.

  • http://Website ian no 2

    what’s a halfway house without Plaxico and Shawn Andrews?

  • http://Website Section118

    Great deal for vy. He chose well. Market not good for him right now so he can study one year in an organization known for
    1) rehabbing troubled players
    2) getting the best out of qbs
    3) having a mentor who plays a similar type of game and will be the perfect model for maturity and development of his game.
    After one year he can become a free agent who will be seen as having grown up and modeled his game after the best of mobile qbs. This will still take all the work from vy but if he’s willing to do it, he’ll be in great position next year

  • http://Website Thunderlips

    I’m excited to see Jackson, Maclin, McCoy, Celek, Young and Vick all on the field at the same time.

  • http://Website Corry

    I’d say a one year deal is good for both sides. Vince gets a year to rehab his image, the birds get another year to getKafka ready to be a better back up.

    Further, if VY is as uncoachable as the rumors suggest, then its a one year (or less) headache with little risk.

  • http://Website Section118

    Tommy,
    Do you envision us using vy in a wildcat type play? Can we expect to see him on the field at the same time as Vick? I want to see him develop as a traditional qb like Vick did but we got Vick on the field his first year with gadget plays. In general, im not always a fan of them but you gotta wonder what kind of plays big red is thinking up right now….

  • http://Website Westport johnny

    Florio over at PFT writes that the word on the street is that the Iggles illegally contacted Uncle Rico, as he’s on waivers, and should not be “free” until 4pm today. Any thoughts? Personally, I’d like to have Uncle Rico suit up.

    And separately, is it me, or does Castillo bear resemblance to Pedro?

  • http://Website Matt

    New word on PFT is that its not because of waivers but because the transaction report from the league office couldn’t be update in time since VY was cut after 4pm yesterday. Doesn’t sound like a big deal.

  • http://Website Dan
  • http://Website anders

    @Dan

    Haha if we get VY and MV we have 2 qbs there have comeback from 21 pts against the giants :)

  • http://Website Margate

    Tommy:

    Weigh in on whether, assuming the worst and Vick is hurt but Young shines for a couple-three games . . . Would the Eagles pull a “Cassell”. (Ian No. 2 raised this point, too.)

    That is, would the Eagles franchise Young to trade him, the way the Patriots did with Matt Cassell before moving him to the Chiefs?

    OR . . . do you think Young secured a “no franchise” clause in his contract?

  • http://Website Birds Fan

    Love VY’s trade value in a multi-year deal. Assuming he keeps his nose clean and plays just enough (and just well enough) to keep him fresh in folks’ minds, we’ve got an excellent shot at unloading him for a 3rd-ish round draft pick in 2 years. The one-year deal makes little sense, but hopefully we’ve got an option for more that hasn’t been reported yet.

    Not sure how I feel about VY as our backup in 2011, though. If we had a veteran with WCO experience as our third-stringer, I’d feel a heck of a lot better about it, considering the possibility (probability) that Vick doesn’t play all 16 games. It’s hard to imagine VY’s going to be prepared to win games this year. Plus, if he isn’t prepared, not only do we lose whatever games VY plays, we also destroy his trade value down the line. (The nice thing about Vick’s first year was that, with McNabb and Kolb in the fold, Vick didn’t have to play at all; and so he barely played. I doubt Kafka gives us that option with VY.) That said, VY, warts and all, is arguably our best option for backup QB this year, and he’s got a a sandlot sort of game, which at least compliments system ignorance.