It appears that somehow I’ve become the poster boy for a controversial, grassroots “VY to DC” Twitter campaign. This started last week with a few innocent “devil’s advocate” remarks on the subject—well before yesterday’s guest post (in support of Young’s candidacy) was even a twinkle in the eye of Bill the Evolving Redskins Fan.
That I’m now the presumed president of the Up With Vince social media movement is rather humorous to me, seeing as how I was never more than a casual admirer of his football abilities until being blasted by this recent tsunami of knee-jerk pessimism, which cried out to me desperately for a foil.
So let’s clarify a few points of discussion.
I don’t believe that Vince Young will single-handedly resurrect the Redskins. I don’t believe he’s an automatic Week 1 starter. I don’t believe with great confidence he’s “the Perfect Fit,” “the Future,” or “the Answer.”
But I believe these things:
- John Beck—however likable—is not bankable.
- Rex Grossman is a turnover waiting to happen (and might actually leave for Cincinnati anyway).
- Vince Young is 27, an accurate passer, a dangerous ball-carrier, and very successful as a pro starter.
- The off-field distractions clouding his tenure as a Titan, though concerning, are complicated and difficult to interpret.
- The towering short- and long-term upsides to giving him a chance—a chance to compete for the position—make acceptable the modest risk of underachievement and subsequent prompt dismissal.
That’s really it. That’s all I’m saying. We’re weak at quarterback… Young’s talent and success merit consideration… and the red flags are not obviously prohibitive. I just think it’s ignorant to impulsively blow him off, considering his potential and the alternatives.
I’m not “banging the table” here, because I’ve never met Vince Young or Jeff Fisher and I’ve never been in the Titans locker room. I don’t really know what happened there, and neither do you. None of us can be completely confident in our understanding of VY as a leader, a teammate, and a man.
But you know who’ll be doing his damnedest to find out? Shanny, a maniac for details, and a guy whose personal and professional relationships with Fisher and Mike Heimerdinger are extensive. Google it if you want, or just trust me. Shanny has told newspapers that Mike Heimerdinger “saved (his) life.” If any individuals on this earth have ample reason or opportunity to condemn Vince Young, they are those two men, and you can count on them being honest and up-front about it to Mike Shanahan.
So what I’m asking of Burgundy Nation isn’t that you sign a petition or storm Redskins Park or even flood the message boards with pleas for a low-risk contract. What I’m asking is that you wait patiently for Mike Shanahan’s decision on the issue—without prematurely formulating a stubborn, uninformed impression of the player’s character—and if the decision is to give him a shot, that you trust in Shanny’s due diligence at least long enough to see who Vince Young really is.
Because if he’s not who you think he is, he might be just who you’re looking for.