Treatment of McNair Should Make Young Wary

By Eric Williams
Updated: May 2, 2006

Brad Smith, Steve McNair & Vince Young

Brad Smith, Steve McNair & Vince Young

PHILADELPHIA—I hate to play the role of smart aleck spoiler, but if the Tennessee Titan’s newly minted draft pick, Vince Young, isn’t keeping one wary eye on the on-going Steve McNair/Tennessee Titan saga, then he may want to pay a little more attention to the unbelievable squabble that has engulfed the team, McNair and every Titans fan in the entire city.

I mean, Young will eventually replace McNair as both, the new face of the franchise and the starting quarterback. Incredibly, the two have already had a profound mentor-student relationship, although it appears as if may not last while the two are teammates.

“I just know that he’s behind me, just like my father figure, and he’s going to protect me if he’s there or if he’s not there. We’re still going to be very close and still going to be the best of friends,” Young said.

Whatever happens down the road, the Titans sound as if they got the man they wanted. General manager Floyd Reese said Young’s upside was the deciding factor.

“Last night at 2:30, I was on my knees praying … he will rewrite the position. This guy physically is such a combination of arms and legs. People want to make him out to be a Michael Vick. He’s not that. He’s different,” Reese said.

“This guy, he led the nation in college as a junior in passing efficiency. This guy is special. Now we have to get him special in the NFL, and that’s why it’s going to take a little bit of time. And we realize that. It’s a big jump.”

If the Titans do release McNair, which looks like the most likely scenario, the 6-foot-4, 229-pound Young will learn the ropes this season while the Titans go with either, backup Billy Volek or third-stringer, Matt Mauck.

Head coach, Jeff Fisher, said he would try to bring Young along slowly – no matter how tempted he gets. “We’re going to be facing the temptation to play him a lot sooner than we should. We’ll keep things in perspective and bring things along at a good pace,” Fisher said.

Good pace or not, I’d like to know what kind of message it sends to Young to see the team’s franchise quarterback – and one who has given his all to Tennessee – mired in a monumental battle over bucks?

The message it sends is this. ‘Hey Vince, in another decade – if you’re still here – we may be looking to get rid of you like yesterday’s newspaper. Oh, by the way, don’t bother showing up because if we see you, we’re locking the doors. By the way – thanks for the memories.’

Now, obviously Young has absolutely nothing to do with McNair’s predicament, but once again, if you were Vince Young wouldn’t you be watching to see how this scenario plays out?