When Fisher pulled Young from the Steelers game in week 2, I was so upset that I suggested that Fisher should be fired immediately.
Fisher’s decision to sit Young on Sunday against the Dolphins was not as infuriating. However, since Young appeared in the game and looked healthy enough to start, I again question Fisher’s judgment.
I was tempted to backtrack from my assertion that Fisher made a mistake by not starting Young. Perhaps, as some have suggested, Young’s work ethic is not up to par. Maybe he’s not as tough as his mentor, Steve McNair. I wondered if, because of the ups and downs of his professional career, Young has become too passive and, if somewhere between Austin and Nashville, he lost his ability to lead.
But after reading the postgame quotes and listening to interviews earlier this week, it is clear that Fisher, not Young, had the final word on who would start at quarterback against the Dolphins. And today, Fisher’s decision still does not make much sense.
Young is the 27-year old starting quarterback. Collins is the 37-year old backup. Fisher chose Collins.
Young had an injured ankle. Collins had an injured finger on his throwing hand. Fisher chose Collins.
For many years, Fisher coached Steve McNair, a quarterback known for his toughness and his ability to play with injuries and without much practice time. Young was hurting, but the pain did not render him immobile. On Sunday, Fisher chose Collins.
Why did Fisher choose Collins over Young?
After the game, Fisher said “We didn’t want [Young] to re-injure the ankle and then have the case where he was setback for another two, three, four weeks.”
This may be true, but given Fisher’s history with McNair, I cannot help but conclude that Fisher believes Kerry Collins is as good an option at quarterback, or is better, than Vince Young.
Is this a ridiculous assumption? Might it be true? Only Fisher knows.
And unless Fisher tells us so, I’m free to speculate. What’s a sports blog without a speculating writer?
If I were a member of the Nashville sports media for a day, I’ hope I’d be brave enough to go against the grain and ask coach Fisher a number of direct and challenging questions:
- What are Kerry Collins’ strengths as a quarterback?
- Who is the better quarterback? Kerry Collins or Vince Young?
- Which quarterback gives your team the best chance to win?
- If Collins had continued to play as poorly into the third quarter as he had played during the first half against the Miami Dolphins, would you have considered pulling him in favor of Young?
- If not, why?
- Steve McNair played with injuries countless times. Why did you think it was best to avoid setbacks by not starting Young against the Dolphins?
- If Bud Adams had not insisted that Young start after the 2009 bye week, would Collins still be your starting quarterback today?
- Do you want Vince Young as your starting quarterback for the next five years?
The Jeff Fisher-Vince Young dynamic is baffling. I hope things are better than they appear to this observer.
Questions aside, the Titans have lost two games in a row and need to get it together against the Washington Redskins, a team in the midst of a total collapse.