PALM BEACH, Fla. -- One NFL quarterback is missing some of this team's offseason work, choosing to take college classes back at his school in pursuit of a degree. He's passing on a chance to spend time with his teammates and, more important, learn a new offense to instead focus on fulfilling a promise to his mother to get his diploma.
|Vince Young: Is now the right time for school? (US Presswire)|
So who's the quarterback doing the right thing this spring?
It's not who you think.
The first quarterback is Vince Young of the Tennessee Titans. He's in school at the University of Texas miles and airline flights away from the team's facility. The second is Matt Leinart of the Arizona Cardinals. He's in Arizona working out with the Cardinals, but photos of a party he had at his house last Saturday night leaked out to the Internet, which means he's again in the crosshairs of those who wonder if he's committed.
The reality is Leinart is more committed this spring than Young, as strange as that may sound.
At least he's in Arizona. Young should be in Nashville, bonding with his teammates, learning Mike Heimerdinger's new offense. Instead he's playing big man on campus at Texas.
I don't get it. I'm all for a player getting his degree, but does Young have to do it now? Heading into his third season as the Titans quarterback, he is facing a critical time in his growth after regressing in 2007 as a second-year starter. This is a quarterback who threw 18 interceptions and nine touchdown passes last season and then supposedly helped get offensive coordinator Norm Chow booted.
With a new offense being implemented, Young should be at the Titans facility every possible day he can be there. Has the guy ever heard of on-line classes? Or just waiting?
Titans coach Jeff Fisher got a bit defensive when asked about Young here Tuesday at the AFC coaches breakfast at the league meetings.
"I don't have a problem with it," Fisher said. "It's not an issue."
One wouldn't expect a coach to publicly question a kid going back to school. That's politically incorrect, and getting a degree is certainly admirable. But you can bet Fisher would rather have his quarterback around the facility all the time, adjusting to Heimerdinger's rigid ways.
The timing of it just doesn't make sense. And, really, what is that degree going to be worth to Young? Then again, if he doesn't get it going soon, which is why being around the facility this spring is so important, he might actually need it.