Tennessee quarterback Vince Young has won the Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year Award. Young received 23 votes from a panel of 50 national writers and broadcasters, to easily outdistance New Orleans wide receiver Marques Colston and Jacksonville running back Maurice Jones-Drew, who had nine votes apiece. San Diego tackle Marcus McNeill received six votes and Saints running back Reggie Bush had three.
After an 0-3 start by the Titans, Young became the starter in Week Four and won eight games, leading Tennessee to an 8-8 record, one game out of the playoffs. Four wins were fourth quarter comebacks, including a 24-21 win over the Giants after trailing 21-0 with twelve minutes to play.
“He was very prepared when he got here because of the experience he had in college,” said Titans coach Jeff Fisher. “We knew that he had a chance to improve and obviously that’s why we went ahead and started him when we did. We felt like he was ready.”
Young was a four-time winner of the Rookie of the Week award and also won the NFL Offensive Player of the Week award for his play against Buffalo in Week Sixteen.
Among his other accomplishments was becoming the first modern era quarterback to rush for over 500 yards in his rookie season. The third overall selection in the 2006 draft, Young passed for 12 touchdowns and ran for seven during the 2006 season.
“I like to go out there and play the game and show that I can deliver the ball down the field, and that I can use my legs at the right time, when its time to use my legs, and checking the ball down, just being a quarterback,” said Young. “I want to change the game a little bit.”
Tennessee offensive coordinator Norm Chow, long considered an excellent teacher of quarterbacks, had the following take on Young.
“Besides the physical skills, it’s the will and the strength inside, the ‘it’ factor that a quarterback either has or doesn’t have. Obviously, he has it. The quickness in which he won the team over and the quickness in which he became the leader, the guy everybody looked up to, that was special. Vince Young has this great ability to lift others around him. To see him do it so quickly, that wasn’t a surprise, but it was certainly good to see.”
I’m happy for Vince earning this well-deserved honor, and happier still for Titans fans who have a bright future ahead of them.