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What to Make of Vince Young?

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Following the Titans 0-6 start, incumbent starting Quarterback Kerry Collins posted numbers that looked like the following:

  • 54.8% completion percentage, 5 TDs, 8 INTs, 5.4 Y/A, 62.0 passer rating, 3.0% sack rate

It was widely reported that Jeff Fisher never felt that Collins was the problem with the Titan offense, but you can look at those numbers and instantly realize that your team is getting nothing out of the passing game.  The Titans needed to make some sort of correction at the bye, and though Fisher would have prefered to give Collins another week or two, he eventually decided to let Vince Young save face and start the resurrection of his career in Week 8.

Perhaps the most surprising thing about this, is that it has turned out pretty alright:

  • 65.7% completion percentage, 2 TDs, 2 INTs, 7.6 Y/A, 85.9 passer rating, 1.5% sack rate

It’s worth pointing out that Young has been heavily protected by Mike Heimerdinger’s scheme, and a 2 TD to 2 INT rate is very inconclusive as far as long-term results go.  Furthermore, now that teams have three games of tape on him, it’s going to be tough for the Titans to completely smoke and mirrors their way through the rest of the season.

But it’s worth pointing out that the numbers suggest that Young has been anything but indecisive this season.  His sack rate is half of what Kerry Collins’ was, and even though Tennessee still has a great pass protecting offensive line, Kerry Collins is one of the better players in the history of the NFL at getting the ball out of his hands.  He’s also one of the lowest efficiency passers to last as long as he has, because he throws the ball away with such frequency.  Young may be in a simplified, conservative offense, but he’s been highly effective through three games however you spin it.

And as for the TD/INT rate, when you consider the kind of year that all-world RB Chris Johnson is having (still above 6 YPC), it’s amazing that Collins wasn’t able to accomplish anything more than he did.  Young’s 1:1 rate is just fine because Johnson can be the main weapon in the offense.  While you don’t draft a player third overall to be a complementary part in your offense, Young is finally succeeding because he’s not being asked to do too much, he’s being asked to give the Titans the production that Kerry Collins wasn’t.

At the end of this season, Tennessee either has to get behind Young, or get him out of there.  Because of the contributions of Johnson, the Titans have options at the quarterback position, and if these three games are any indication, Vince Young might just have a future yet in the Music City.  You get the idea that the Titans would love that.

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