Young looked like the player Titans fans loved during his rookie season. He completed nine of 14 passes for 131 yards and a touchdown as Tennessee defeated Tampa Bay 27-20.
Rookie receiver Kenny Britt was on the receiving end of Young’s touchdown pass. Britt caught five passes for 89 yards.
For many weeks, members of the Nashville and national media have insisted that Young is battling with journeyman Patrick Ramsey for the chance to backup starting quarterback Kerry Collins.
Despite the meltdown that was Young’s 2007 season, I have always believed he has several factors in his favor.
First, he’s 26, and Collins will be 37 by season’s end. There are only three elite quarterbacks in the NFL (Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and the underrated Donovan McNabb).
Second, his team runs a conservative offense, and with commitment and time, Young can perform well in it.
Third, and the thing that drives his detractors crazy, he has the support of the organization, namely owner Bud Adams. Here’s what Mr. Adams said after the Buccaneers game:
“We’re going to be paying him quite a bit of money for the next couple of years,” Adams said. “I really think (his problems) are (behind him). I think he is going to be a great quarterback for us like he was in high school and college. He’s going to be a great quarterback for us and I am glad to have him.”
Sports Illustrated journalist Peter King can call Young “Bud Adams’ favorite boy toy” all he wants. (King said this in November 2008; interestingly enough, the “boy toy” quote has been removed from the article. Thank goodness for Google… search for the quote and see I’m not the only one who pointed out what King said.) It’s a good thing when someone has your back. Anyone who’s been employed knows your situation is better when your boss believes in you and is not seeking to betray your trust.
By no means should Kerry Collins lose his job, despite his two interception performance. The emergence of Britt, along with newcomer Nate Washington and the steady presence of Justin Gage, indicate that Collins and the Titans passing game will improve.