[editor's note, by River City Rage] Here's Freed again with another fantastic post. This one is about the enigma that is Quarterback Vince Young. No matter what you think of him, you'll probably agree that he's not a "normal" NFL Quarterback. Enjoy, and thanks again to Freed for his contributions!
At first glance, you might think Vince Young has become more mature in his second year as the Tennessee Titans starting quarterback. In the games Young has played in this season, his team is an impressive 5-2 losing to Tampa by three and Indy by a mere two points. His awareness has looked better in the pocket and he hasn't run with the ball excessively. Some people might say that's a bad thing, because Young's game is all about mobility. I do agree with that point in the sense that Young can run with the ball for good yards when pressure is tight, but I've noticed that quarterbacks that are more concerned with leaving the pocket than throwing the ball don't win as many games. Generally the Titans are looking good and so is their franchise player. I have found though that the statistics tell another story.
Despite the winning record, Young has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns in 4 of his seven games this year. 7 of his 8 interceptions have come in victories, which means the running game a.k.a Lendale White, has single handedly been pulling the load thus far. I come to this conclusion by realizing that Young has only thrown 3 touchdown passes this year, all of them coming in just two games. What I'm about to say is very important, a quarterback can still contribute to the offensive success of his team even if he is not throwing TD passes by making completions that march his team down the field. Unfortunately for Young, my research shows that he has not thrown for over 2oo yards thus far and he has had two games where he didn't make it over 100. One of those games came against Oakland when he threw for a whole 42 yards (FYI: That is the equivalent of a Tom Brady completion). I partially take back what I said earlier about mobile quarterbacks. If a quarterback has the worst rating in the League (61.5 33rd), there are only 32 teams in the NFL let me remind you) he better be making it up on the ground. In rushing yards per game, Young is 1st amongst quarterbacks! Oh ugh, this has been a slow year for all mobile quarterbacks with Young's 23.6 yards per game in the lead. Once again Young has better numbers in a negative category than positive. 3 fumbles compared to 2 rushing touchdowns is a little mediocre for the effortlessly moving Vince Young we like to imagine.
I understand that this is only Vince's second year in the league. The ideal situation is for a quarterback to sit on the bench for a couple of years and learn the system. Expectations are pretty high for this National College Champion, who is replacing the big shoes of Steve McNair. Nevertheless, when a quarterback averages 110 passing yards, .4 TD passes, 21 rushing yards, and 1.4 interceptions per win people will get on your case. In fact Young put up his best passing yards per game last year averaging 163 which occurred in his losses. These facts lead to the ultimate point: The Wonderlic Test.
The wonderlic test is the test all NFL players in the columbine take to measure their problem solving skills and cognitive learning. The best score you can get is a fifty; the average score for a quarterback is 26. Fifteen is the lowest a QB can go without a team having too many concerns about him. Matt Leinart did very well with a score of 35. Michael Vick scored fairly decent with a 20. Vince young scored a 6, the lowest score ever by a quarterback. A score below 10 suggests the person taking the test is illiterate and is not very smart. It is possible that a person might have a learning disability or be a bad test taker, but a score below 10 is extremely alarming. There was and still is some concern, that Young's struggles come from not being able to comprehend the Titans playbook to the fullest. May I remind you, Last year Vince Young ran for a 39 yard TD in overtime to beat the Texans (week 14). Everyone seemed pretty happy accept for Head Coach Jeff Fisher who made remarks after the game hinting to the fact that Young didn't throw to the wide open tight end in the end zone due to not knowing the play that was called. Young is ranked 25th in both attempting passes and completions this year. He is 32nd in total passing yards and 26th in passing TD's. Young is no question still in his developmental stages, but how do we know when he's done learning?