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Philly perfect landing spot for Vince Young

by | CBSSports.com Senior Writer
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If I'm the Philadelphia Eagles, I'd be careful about my choices of backups to quarterback Michael Vick, too. You just know that Vick will miss a game or two this season. He absorbs too many hits not to.

So better to be sure you're covered at the backup position before trading away Kevin Kolb. Ideally, you'd want someone with starting experience and someone who has won -- and if he's played in a playoff game, it's an added bonus. Those guys are hard to find, except I know where you can find one right now.

Tennessee.

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Yep, Vince Young is about to hit the free-agent market, and the Eagles owe it to themselves to check out the guy. He started. He won. And he has playoff experience.

If there's a problem, it may be that he wants to go somewhere he can start again ... and if that's the case Philadelphia is out of the mix. But if he wants to go where he can start over and be allowed to reconstruct his career, maybe, just maybe, the Eagles are the ticket.

They're a perennial playoff team. They're a Super Bowl contender. And their head coach, Andy Reid, is compassionate and understanding, willing to take on projects (Vick) others would not touch. More than that, the Eagles are a club where Young could fly under the radar, comfortably removed from the headlines while he sits and learns just as Vick sat and learned two years ago.

Of course, all of this is contingent on the Eagles' trade of Kolb, and Philadelphia doesn't make the move unless it has a veteran to plug in behind Vick ... which is where Young could come in.

He might disagree, but stepping back now could be a good thing. You saw what pressure did to him in Tennessee. Well, guess what? There is no pressure backing up Michael Vick. You wait for your chance, and maybe it comes and maybe it doesn't. In the meantime, you get away from the turmoil of the past and embrace the peace and quiet that comes with being No. 2.

Plus, you learn. Listen to Vick on what he absorbed in 2009 sitting behind Donovan McNabb and Kolb. Without that experience, he said, he wouldn't be the quarterback he is now.

"[Young] needs to mature as a professional," said someone who knows him. "He's not a bad person. This is more like a 'pampered athlete deal.' He's very gifted and very blessed, and everything's been very easy for him at every step of his career.

"Until now, that is. This is a very difficult sport to master at any position, but especially at that position [quarterback]. It's not something that just happens. So this is an opportunity for him to do something like Michael Vick, where he breaks himself down and builds himself back up. And for that reason, yeah, I could see where the Eagles would make sense."

If nothing more, the Eagles should sit down with Young and find out what he's all about. I don't know how many persons are interested in him after what went down in Tennessee, but I can't imagine the list is long. I don't know how many persons would consider him as a starter, either, but, guaranteed, that list is shorter.

Yes, Young can be temperamental and immature. Yes, he can be an inaccurate passer. Yes, he can be a diva. But tell me that didn't describe Vick when the Eagles took a flyer on him, and look what happened.

If there's anything about him that should get his next employer's attention, it is this: For all the negativity that surrounded Young in Tennessee he still was 30-17 as a starter, including 8-2 in 2009 when the Titans overcame an 0-6 start to finish at .500.

"He's still young," said an AFC head coach, pointing out that Young is 28, "and when you hear things about him you look at that won-loss record. I just think a team without a quarterback should take a look at him to find out ... and by find out I mean find out what's in there. What do you have to lose?"

Nothing. Which is why someone like Miami or Washington should call the minute the Titans release Young. But so should Philadelphia. The Eagles may be in the market for an experienced backup, and maybe Vince Young is that quarterback. Maybe he's not, too. Maybe he costs too much or demands to start or, well, just isn't the right fit.

You never know unless you talk to him.

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