As a non-Longhorns fan and someone who doesn't avidly follow high school football, I never really got to see the side of Vince Young that had made him such a commodity in the eyes of so many in both the state and the city. I only got to see the arguments from Texas University fans that crowed for Young to be the first overall pick in the 2006 draft, followed by the ongoing dismissal of his personal stats and history of bad off-field decisions for the past few seasons under the umbrella of He. Just. Wins. Games.
His pouty tirade dominated the NFL news last night, eclipsing even the Texans re-enactment of past weeks choke job (no surprise, they didn't come close to matching the original) and Peyton-Brady XII. Sources close to the team said that he walked out of the locker room following the game, telling coach Jeff Fisher that he wasn't running from his teammates, but running from Fisher. Then, depending on which sources you believe in, he was chased down by safety Michael Griffin, threw his pads into the stands, and kidnapped a girl scout troop. Okay, so I made the last one up.
ESPN AFC South columnist and Tennessee mainstay Paul Kuharsky says that this was the end of Young's career in the baby blues. I genuinely feel bad for Young to the extent that fandom allows you to, because athletes aren't any different from regular people. Some of them just can't handle the emotional burden that comes with being a franchise quarterback. The pandering you're require to do, the pain you're required to take, the abuse from fans and media that comes with the territory. It's not an easy life for someone who isn't emotionally strong.
This sequence of events created a few new opportunities for the Texans.
- As much as you'd like to quit on the season and say the Texans are done after four weeks of terrible blunders, this is a complete down year for the AFC South. The Colts aren't healthy and can't stop the run. Unless you don't run on them. Tennessee, good defense and everything, is in complete disarray without Young and will have to start Rusty Smith until Kerry Collins gets healthy. Your division leading Jacksonville Jaguars have won their last two games on a Hail Mary and on the heels of five turnovers. The Texans have three division games left, and still trail the division lead by just two games. Stranger things have happened.
- This pretty much ends the Mario Williams-Vince Young debate, I hope. Williams has 8 sacks in 9 games despite playing on the worst defense in the NFL. He, unlike Young, is able to deal with the pain and pressure. He, unlike Young, is having success on the field in spite of his supporting cast instead of because of it. As annoyed as Richard Justice has made me with his homerism for Young, I have to give him props for successfully calling a spade a spade. This debate is over from here on out, and that's a good thing, because we have more important things to worry about. Such as...
- If Frank Bush's defense does not stack the box against Chris Johnson and a quarterback named Rusty Smith, and if it does not hold Smith, a rookie sixth round starter from Florida Atlantic, under 300 yards, then not only can we unequivocally say that this is the worst pass defense in NFL history, but we can fire Frank Bush. Yes, I've been advocating firing Bush for awhile, so that's not news. But I don't mean terminating his employment from the club, I mean literally, firing him. Out of a catapult. Because if you somehow manage to give up 300 yards to Smith when his main receivers are an indifferent Randy Moss, Bo Scaife, and Nate Washington, we've successfully reached the point where a fan pulled out of the stands could actually do a better job. Or Rex Ryan's defensive playbook from 2002 with a series of dice rolls determining what plays are called.
- Or, if we want to go in a completely different direction. Hey, he definitely has experience beating it.