I was happy to read that ESPN’s John Clayton picked the Tennessee Titans as one of his five sleeper teams in 2007.
Veteran center Kevin Mawae says there is a togetherness on this team that defies statistics. Maybe he’s right. Maybe this is a team that shouldn’t be judged on paper.
If there was ever a player who should not be judged on paper, it is Vince Young. How much more does this young man have to do to silence his critics?
He completed 65.2 percent of his passes during his final collegiate year. He led the Texas Longhorns to a national championship over the favored USC Trojans in the greatest performance ever by a quarterback in a college football game.
Let me repeat that. Vince Young had the greatest performance ever by a quarterback in a college football game.
To say the Houston Texans made a mistake by not taking Vince Young first in the 2006 draft is a gross understatement. Luckily, my favorite team, the Titans, had the common sense to pick him.
Before the regular season starts, Vince had to deal with rumors of a poor score on the Wonderlic test and criticism from the likes of Merril Hoge.
After starting the 2006 season 0-3, Young had a tough debut as a starter against the Dallas Cowboys and played well in a close loss to the Colts in Indianapolis. Then, the wins started coming. The Titans finished 8-8 and would have made the playoffs if it had won the last game of the regular season against the New England Patriots.
At the end of the season, Young was recognized for his performance and leadership and won the league’s Offensive Rookie of the Year award. And, as a bonus, he was selected as an alternate to the Pro Bowl.
After all this, Vince still has his doubters, but granted, they are fewer in number than before the 2006 regular season. However, I suspect Merril Hoge is still among them.
But I ask you, sports fans: after what Vince Young has accomplished as a Longhorn and as a Titan, do you really doubt that he will one day lead the Titans to a Super Bowl victory?
I do not doubt it, and I look forward to celebrating the victory when it happens.