Vince Young loses starting job, maybe more

Photo by Andrew Strickert for Total Titans
Vince Young in happier times.
Photo by Andrew Strickert for Total Titans.

Titans quarterback Vince Young injured the thumb on his throwing hand in yesterday’s ugly loss to the Redskins.  Vince was replaced in the third quarter by rookie sixth-round draft pick Rusty Smith.

Vince’s postgame reaction was not one Titans’ fans were happy about.  Vince threw his shoulder pads and jersey into the stands, cursed Jeff Fisher, then quickly dressed and left the postgame team meeting against Fisher’s orders.
 
“I’m not walking out on my teammates,” said Young, “I’m walking out on you.”
 
The biggest news came from Fisher in his postgame press conference. 
When asked if [Vince] lost his job regardless of the injury, Fisher said, “Right now he has. There are some things that have to change.”
 
Strong words from both. More after the jump.
 

The bigger question to me is not the short-term situation at quarterback.  I’m more interested in how this will play out in the long run.

 
Just last week, Redskins Hog Heaven‘s Anthony Brown asked me if Vince has made the case to be the Titans’ franchise quarterback.  After providing some background on Jeff Fisher’s history of a preference for Kerry Collins, I wrote the following:
Vince has one year remaining on his contract, the time most teams will offer their quarterback an extension if they believe in him.  It’s my opinion that Fisher will not give his endorsement to extending VY at this time.  It’s harder to predict how [GM Mike] Reinfeldt feels but I get the sense he’s with Fisher on this one.  Of course, [owner Bud] Adams will make the call on this, with input from Fisher and Reinfeldt.  Unless Vince really lights it up in the last seven games, I think the Titans wait another season before deciding on him, especially with a possible lockout next year.
 
Vince’s actions after the game seriously damaged his chances of a long-term contract renewal, if not destroyed them.
 
One thing that bothers me was Vince’s lack of desire to get back in the game.
“He never came to me and said he was OK and wanted to go back in,” said Fisher.
 
Vince disappointed me prior to the previous game as well.  Why didn’t he go to Fisher and insist he was well enough to play, and to start, against the Dolphins?  He certainly looked healthy enough once he did get into the game.
 
That’s not the way Steve McNair, R.I.P., would have done it.  In each instance, #9 would have told Fisher, “I can play, put me in.”  Vince was fortunate to have McNair as a mentor but for someone who spent a lot of time around McNair, it doesn’t seem like he learned much.

Vince’s insubordination to Fisher, if it was that, and his apparent lack of desire to get back in the game makes me think the Titans will be going in a different direction at the quarterback position.
 
More to come from this afternoon’s Titans press conference.

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