Monday, November 22, 2010

Titan Turmoil in Tennessee?

Yesterday, in a surprising overtime loss to the subpar Redskins, the focus transferred from the former AFC South leading Titans to the sideline circus that is head coach, Jeff Fisher, and quarterback, Vince Young. The continuous behind the scenes battle between coach and quarterback reached, yet, another boiling point when Young tore a tendon in his thumb, and after getting it evaluated, taped, and ready for a return to action was refused re-entry to the game in favor of 6th-round rookie draft pick, Rusty Smith, which led to the Titans’ 3rd consecutive loss. Following the game, reports detail Vince throwing his shoulder pads into the stands in frustration before getting dressed and leaving the locker room as Fisher addressed the team. When Fisher appealed to Young asking him to not walk out on his team, Young responded by saying, “…I am running out on you.”

To Titans fans, this saga is quite familiar, as VY has NEVER been Jeff Fisher’s quarterback of choice. In revisiting the 2006 draft when the Titans selected Young, Fisher and, then, offensive coordinator, Norm Chow, strongly lobbied for former USC quarterback, now, NFL bust, Matt Leinart. Since then, Young has compiled a 30-17 record (64%) as a starting quarterback, leading the Titans to a playoff berth in his rookie season. Fisher, on the other hand, possesses a 136-110 record (55%) as the NFL’s longest tenured head coach with one Super Bowl appearance.

While, owner, Bud Adams, who has always been a Young supporter, ultimately holds the trump card in this duel, I ask, to what do we attribute this fallout? In one corner, Vince Young, the proven NFL quarterback without a coach who has his back, and in the other corner, Jeff Fisher, the 16-year head coach, whose reputation as a player’s coach does not seem to apply to Mr. Young. DING DING!

FACT: Following an OUTSTANDING rookie season, one in which Vince Young won the Rookie of the Year award, he experienced an emotional breakdown when he was booed during a subpar outing in Tennessee. Young refused to go back into the game, and consequently, Kerry Collins finished the game and the season, leading the Titans to a playoff berth.

FACT: The Titans went 0-6 last year with Kerry Collins as the quarter back, before Bud Adams forced Fisher to switch to Vince Young. The Titans, then, went 8-2, barely missing a playoff berth.

ANALYSIS: While it is clear that Jeff Fisher fosters a personal vendetta against Vince Young, it is Young who continues to handle situations poorly and seemingly justify Fisher’s unjustifiable biased actions. So what? Vince has never been Fisher’s guy. He has ALWAYS been Bud’s guy! The owner > The coach. Prior to his injury, Young went 12-16, boasting a completion percentage of 75%! SEVENTY-FIVE PERCENT! Everyone with eyes could see Vince was good to go, as he warmed up on the sideline, but Fisher, using weak rationale for his decision, went with Rusty Smith, who probably does not even know the playbook thoroughly.

When Vince handles situations poorly, he brings the spotlight on himself when it should be on a coach, obviously tampering with the confidence and psyche of his star quarterback. Vince Young has arguably saved Fisher’s tenure on two occasions, yet Fisher uses the SLIGHTEST reason to bench Young whenever plausible, but again, it is Young, who makes his actions plausible through his RE-actions.

For my comparative exhibit, I utilize, one, Donovan McNabb. McNabb was booed when the Eagles drafted him and from the media to his teammates has been the target of consistent and somewhat unfair scrutiny, plaguing his career, BUT McNabb has remained the consummate professional. He has never blinked, despite all the adversity, and this is why the league and public, with the exception of Philly, hold McNabb in the regard they do. Both parties are at fault but one is the instigator and the other the reactor.

Is a personnel change necessary in Tennessee, now that Young has been placed on injured reserve, deactivating him for the remainder of the season? I will leave that up to you for discussion.


  1. I have a hard time believing this because he seemingly had no behavioral issues while at UT (Hook'em \m/, always represent even when times are hard).

    So of course my thoughts might be biased, yet... think about it.

    Most everything that we learn about VY's antics come from Fisher. How would you feel if the CEO pulled rank and made you hire a certain individual when you had your mind set on someone else... then, the CEO constantly pulls rank on you when it comes to managing this individual...

    I think you would grow to resent him/her. And to me (from the outside looking in) it seems that Fisher resents Vince.

    Now, has Vince been perfect through all of this, of course not. But neither has Fisher... he has seemingly loss control of his team... this has gotten bigger than the Coach vs. the QB.

    I grew up on Oilers fan and my loyalties followed the franchise to Tennessee. I have remained a fan not because of the ball club, but because of the players...

    I'm a Texas EX so of course I root for the former Longhorns no matter where they land. So again I'm biased when it comes to my boy Vince...

    Fisher has been with the organization for 16 years and no championship...

    so yep, it's time for someone to go alright.

  2. Great comments. While I, mostly agree, Vince has had the red carpet laid out for him from when he was getting recruited until this day in college.. He never encountered the type of adversity he has in Tennessee while at Texas (I will never refer to Texas as UT.. That is ROCKY TOP!).. He flipped out when he was not treated as the unconditional fan favorite.. I pull for Vince all the time but I think he has some maturity issues that are pretty undeniable. If he kept his cool and handled the situations differently, Fisher would clearly be to blame instead of questions about VY's character.