Don’t Count VY Out Yet

By David Climer
Updated: August 16, 2009

NASHVILLE — Maybe Vince Young got the memo after all.

After a solid showing Saturday night in the Titans’ second preseason game, Young noted — correctly — that he is no more than a complementary player in all this.

“It’s not all about me,” he said.

Baby steps. That’s what Young took in the second preseason game of his fourth NFL training camp.

Young hooked up with rookie wideout Kenny Britt for completions of 38 and 37 yards, the latter for a touchdown, and generally appeared in control.

Yes, there was a noteworthy glitch. Just when things seemed to be going so well, Young committed the kind of gaffe that creates an element of doubt in the minds of coaches, teammates and fans.

Here’s how his mini-meltdown against Tampa Bay evolved: With the Titans facing third-and-8 near midfield, backup center Fernando Velasco delivered a poor shotgun snap that made it about halfway to the quarterback.

Young hustled up to grab the ball.

Good move.

From his knees, Young flipped the ball wildly to his right in the general direction of running back LenDale White.

Bad move.

It was a rookie mistake — by a fourth-year pro. It is the kind of error in judgment that keeps happening all too often.

Frankly, plays like that are why the Titans have no quarterback controversy even after a game where the passer ratings of Young (118.5) and Patrick Ramsey (78.5) dwarfed that of starter Kerry Collins (16.7).

While statistics like these are certain to light up message boards and talk radio, it does absolutely nothing to the Titans’ depth chart.

Collins is now and shall remain the No. 1 quarterback. Young will continue to compete with Ramsey for the No. 2 spot.

If nothing else, the events of Saturday night left the impression that Young understands the situation. When asked about the impact of Britt, the Titans’ first-round draft choice, Young offered this telling comment:

“I feel like he’s going to be big for us. He’s going to make some big plays for Kerry down the field.”

That’s right: He’s going to make some big plays for Kerry down the field.

It’s probably unwise to read too much into this, but it does provide an indication that Young now fully appreciates that this is Collins’ offense. Even on a night when he threw two interceptions, Collins lost no ground to Young or Ramsey.

What, then, of Young? There is one school of thought that if he does not clearly beat out Ramsey for the No. 2 spot by the end of training camp, he could be cut before the regular season.

I don’t think it’s going to come to that.

The Titans still seem reluctant to give up on the third pick of the 2006 draft, a player who is three years removed from NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year designation.

Along those lines, the handful of big plays he Young made against Tampa Bay is a reminder that he still has some significant upside.

Young threaded the needle to Britt on their 38-yard hookup. Then he eschewed the expected scramble and pulled up to hit a wide-open Britt for the touchdown.

“I saw that the free safety didn’t cover his area so I gave it a shot to Kenny Britt down the field,” Young said.

As for Collins, he acknowledged the Titans had “too many turnovers, and that can’t happen.”

” … We’ll learn from it and get better,” Collins said.

Sounds like someone who is secure in his No. 1 status, huh?