The quarterback gets too much credit when a team wins, and too much blame when they lose. Vince Young, despite immense success at the University of Texas, was not prepared to handle the credit or blame in the NFL. With the news he “needs a job” just seven years after getting $26 million guaranteed (and certainly more than that over the years in other salary and endorsements), we have another high profile athlete claiming poor. This time, the athlete isn’t recently retired, like Terrell Owens or Allen Iverson. Vince Young is 29 years old.
Jason Whitlock nailed Young’s situation back in 2006 prior to the NFL Draft. Before Young was drafted, Whitlock warned of his lack of humility at playing the most important position in the game.
Young’s success in the NFL will hinge almost exclusively on his willingness to prepare. And that’s exactly what Young’s Wonderlic score and other curious decisions call into question — his will to prepare and his level of humility.
The fact that Young had to take the Wonderlic twice in order to score a 16 is an indication to me that Young did not prepare for the test, particularly the first time. That speaks to Young’s arrogance. So does his choice in representation and his decision to visit the president and the White House sans sports coat and tie.
That representation was a family friend and local Houston criminal defense attorney, Major Adams, who had no experience as a NFL agent, and his uncle, Keith Young. The disputed details of the recent claims center around Adams and a North Carolina financial planner. Young claims they misappropriated funds. They claim otherwise. That’s neither here nor there, and is a small part of a much bigger problem.
Even if that amount had nothing to do with Vince Young and he was merely the victim – I’m skeptical of that, by the way, given the timing of the loan during the lockout with a company that did the same for other players – his pattern has to be one of squandering money to get rid of the rest of it. We can sit and ask how you spend that much ($7,000 a day!). Focusing on the specific amount is pointless. Look, if you are willing to spend it, there is an endless supply of people and ways to get rid of your money. The bigger issue is Young’s continued inability to properly weigh credit and blame and take responsibility.
When he entered the league, he appeared to experience immediate success. Those appearances were very deceiving, and if Young had a better sense of humility and proper perspective, he might have dealt with it. He went 8-5 as a starter in year one, but did he really? He wasn’t that good. The team went 8-5 with him in the starting position. They played better, they won close games. He “led” four fourth quarter comebacks, and in retrospect, if someone who treats the position as cavalierly as Young can come up big at clutch time, how predictive is it?
It continued a year later, when the Titans made the postseason with Vince Young throwing almost twice as many interceptions as touchdowns. The next year, he was replaced. The Titans knew he wasn’t progressing; Young probably thought he was hot stuff.
Too much credit, and too much misplaced belief in the credit he got, and now he is out of it.
I’ve written how Vince Young’s career numbers do not rule him out from a future rebound. Many of the game’s reclamation projects had careers before 30 not unlike Young. Of course, the difference is their driving desire to continue to play. Rich Gannon wasn’t going broke even though he was out of the game, he was doing everything to get back to prove he could play. I still think that IF Vince Young ever humbled himself to work relentlessly, he could still do some things in the league. I also think that’s an IF that probably will never be realized. He wants to blame others, rather than taking it all himself. When you are a quarterback, you can’t take the credit without the blame.
[photo via US Presswire]