Posted by Ryan Wilson
In today's edition of News That Should Surprise No One: The Miami Herald's Barry Jackson writes about the possibility the Dolphins might pursue Vince Young once the labor dispute is settled. However, Jackson dds the obvious "concerns about maturity" caveats.
"(One) official who has spoken with the Dolphins said there’s concern about whether Young would be happy as a backup if Chad Henne beat him out. Remember, Young wasn’t happy when he lost his job in Tennessee. Speaking about no one specifically, Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland said, 'You can’t guess about' a quarterback’s 'accountability and dependability.' Those have been issues with Young."
To be fair, Young should have been upset when he lost his job to Kerry Collins in 2008. Not because Young deserved the job, but because he was faced with the reality of not being able to beat out a 35-year-old who went three years between being a full-time starter in the NFL (and his last gig was with the Raiders). Young started 13 games as a rookie in 2006, even making the Pro Bowl. Two seasons later he was on the bench, a vantage point he got to know pretty well until the Titans finally decided they had had enough following the 2010 season.
The thing is, Young is, well, still young. He will be 28 when the 2011 season starts. And it's not like we're talking about JaMarcus Russell here. VY isn't a kid with a ton of talent who refuses to work hard. It's just that his on-field abilities are often obscured by lapses in judgment and pouting fits. He didn't handle getting benched well, and he had frequent run-ins with then-coach Jeff Fisher. Right or wrong, have enough incidents and you develop a reputation.
But if you're willing to overlook all the baggage, Young wasn't bad last season. He completed 59.6 percent of his throws, tossed 10 touchdowns and just three interceptions, and averaged five yards a rush. According to Football Outsiders, Young ranked fifth (!) among all NFL quarterbacks in value per play behind Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Philip Rivers, and Aaron Rodgers. Henne ranked 22nd and Collins was 26th.
The issues with Young have never been physical. It's always been between the ears; his ability to deal with adversity, something that he was rarely confronted with in college.
Last month, Ireland laid out his criteria for finding veteran quarterbacks. Money quote, via the Sun-Sentinel:
“You’ve got to know what you’re going to get,” Ireland said, answering Jessie Angler’s question about the intangibles he’s looking for. “The intangible side of things. You have to know exactly what you’re going to get from the person. You can’t guess about work ethic. You can’t guess about intangibles, competitiveness, intelligence... You can’t question those things AT ALL! That’s how I’d lead the book. The intangible makeup. You have to know exactly what you’re getting.”
If Ireland thinks the Dolphins have the staff in place to get the most out of Young, then it makes sense to pursue him. But this is the same outfit that hasn't gotten anywhere with Henne in two seasons. Plus, if history is any indication, Young won't respond well if Henne wins the starting gig, and that will mean more distractions for a team that has enough of that to go around.
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