What's Wrong With Vince Young? (Hint: Everything)

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Tennessee Titans quarterback Vince Young's occasionally brilliant, mainly frustrating NFL career took another strange turn yesterday, with the former Texas standout throwing his jersey and shoulder pads into the stands and storming out of the locker room after a verbal confrontation with coach Jeff Fisher followed Tennessee's 19-16 overtime loss to the Washington Redskins. Young had been pulled from the game in the third quarter with a thumb injury (which the team says will likely require season-ending surgery to correct), and was reportedly upset Fisher did not ask him to go back in. Fisher said after the game Young had lost his job as the team's starter even if the surgery is not required.

It is likely Young's career in Tennessee which, along with several playoff runs, has featured benchings, injuries, retirement talk, and one citywide manhunt. Around the Web, a variety of voices were asking one question: what's wrong with that guy?

  • Reset All the talk--much of it from Young himself--about how he was going to win a Super Bowl with the Titans seems laughable now, writes Deadspin's A.J. Daulerio. And while Daulerio knows people are tired of the media rehashing all of Young's past mistakes every time he makes a new one, "it's becoming more and more clear that Young's emotional maturity is not just some lame insulted by [ESPN football analyst] Merril Hodge. This guy needs a de-programming immediately and a new team if he's ever going to live up to his own lofty expectations."
  • No Improvement The Atlantic's Ta-Nehisi Coates says Young has all the physical tools one could want from a quarterback, and has demonstrated an ability to play quarterback at a high level in the NFL, but is maddeningly inconsistent. Writes Coates:
One of the things I love about pro athletics is how much of it isn't actually about the ability to do amazing things with your body. That drive last year by Vince Young against the Cardinals is one of the greatest comebacks I've ever witnessed. But the task of taking whatever abilities Young showed during that comeback, to build on them, and then improve on the weakness (also on display in that drive), and get better is about more than having a canon for an arm, or a startling 40 time.
  • Burned Bridges Walking out on a coach is tantamount to "football treachery," writes ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky. "He likes to tell people how competitive he is, but he comes off like a baby. Who’s left inside team headquarters that will coddle him any longer?"
  • Change of Scenery The Tennessean's David Climer believes a new team is the only way for Young to rescue his career. "It's starting to look like this town just isn't big enough for Vince Young and Jeff Fisher," writes Climer. Ironically, says Climer, Fisher used to be one of the quarterback's fiercest defenders, but yesterday's outburst prompted the coach to "tee up the fifth-year pro and take a few swings."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.