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For Vince Young, a Chance to Start Over in Philadelphia

Vince Young is going to sign a 1-year deal in Philadelphia after being released by the Titans. He wasn’t going to get within smelling distance of competing for a starting job by week 1 with any organization, not after the way things went down in Tennessee at the end, when he walked out of a locker room on his head coach.

For Philadelphia, this seems like an excellent move. Sure, nothing may come of it, he may just serve his time on a bench, and move on. The cost is low enough that if Vince Young bounces back, they get a tremendous bargain.

For me, though, this Vince Young signing is a view into sports, and why we like it–that absolute uncertainty that has the potential to spawn great moments, but not always, and never guaranteed. It’s not a movie, where we can sometimes feel like we’ve seen the same script and storyline many times over. It’s not “reality” television, where we know the formulaic mixture of attention mongers that will fill our screen.

Which way will Vince Young go? I don’t know, and it’s on him to decide and change. Maybe this fall from starter to someone that few want, who nobody wants to start, and who can only merit a 1-year deal, will jolt him into making some changes to his attitude. Maybe he can’t do that at this point. We would have thought that might have been the case after what happened back in the 2008 season. He had to work his way back, and wait, until an 0-6 start in 2009 gave him another opportunity. It didn’t take.

There is this. When he played, he was more productive after returning, even though he still had the issues with Fisher and the organization.

Vince Young, 2006 through 1st game of 2008 before injury and losing job to Collins: 57.3% completions, 6.41 yards per attempt, 22 TD to 32 INT, 6.4% sack rate

Vince Young, since regaining job in 2009 until incident last year following thumb injury: 59.0% completions, 7.55 yards per attempt, 20 TD to 10 INT, 5.0% sack rate

So while the perception of Young has gone in the tank, after being overly praised as a winner and getting on a Madden cover in his first two seasons, he has flashed enough to say that he is far from a lost cause if he can get his head together with a new organization. He’s had his up and downs (that Pittsburgh game last year was brutal) but watch his comeback against Arizona and say this guy doesn’t have a future in this league, if the organ inside his helmet is ready.

The immediate comparisons are going to be to Michael Vick, Philadelphia’s most recent reclamation. The quarterback position is littered, though, with guys who came back after being unwanted, and also with just as many who never came back. The Elways and Mannings are the exception at the position. Rich Gannon was completely out of football when he signed on as a backup in Kansas City. Doug Williams had gone to the USFL and latched back on in Washington, throwing exactly one pass in 1986. Randall Cunningham was an afterthought in Minnesota by 1998, after injuries had racked his Eagles’ career.

I don’t know if Vince Young will turn it around, but nothing would surprise me.

[photo via Getty]

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