Vince Young is 30. He is matured. He’s learned his lessons the hard way and now it’s all about football.
Those are the words that Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy no doubt focused on when they decided to sign Young to a contract. He was signed to add competition to and spice up the Packers quarterback race.
Young didn’t show a whole lot last weekend after just two days of practice, but the former Rookie Offensive Player of the Year should get much more playing time when the Packers take the field Saturday in preseason game number two in St. Louis.
Though Graham Harrell and B.J. Coleman haven’t done anything to earn the backup position behind all-world Aaron Rodgers, they are still ahead of Young. The former Titan, Eagle and Bill has a long uphill climb to overcome his competition. Can he do it? Sure. Harrell and Coleman have had plenty of chances and haven’t shown much – so their mountains should be somewhat easy to climb.
So, if Young does play well in his upcoming plate appearances and gains the upper hand in the race, we have to ask, just which Vince Young will we get? Will it be the matured veteran competing for his professional life or will it be the out of control, inconsistent player who said too much at the wrong times.
Will it be the man who recently had his possessions auctioned to pay a $1.7 million debt? Will it be the Young who was photographed at a bar in 2008 without his shirt and downing tequila? Will it be the confused man who took off with a gun, after leaving his therapist with the impression he could commit suicide? Will it be the man who had run-ins in clubs that might be called nothing short of sordid?
McCarthy and Thompson are banking on none of that coming to the surface.
Instead they are hoping for that rookie who burned up the NFL with his arm and his legs; they are hoping for the promising quarterback who was considered one of the best quarterbacks to come out of the college ranks in many years and the same man who at times seemed unstoppable.
But to have that chance, Young has a lot to prove. He’s got to prove that he has a grasp of the Packers complex offensive system; he’s got to prove that he can mesh well with his new teammates; and he’s got to prove once again that he can lead the team on the field.
It all gets started this weekend. With a full week of practice behind him, Packers fans will be watching closely as he hits the field in St. Louis against the Rams. Whether you’re rooting for the guy or not, it’s surely an interesting story that could make the Packers the talk of the league.
Stay tuned …