Thursday, December 14, 2006


Vincent Paul Young, Jr. is making a believer out of the NFL (and hater out of the Houston Texans). Actually, he's made losers out of two NFL teams in dramatic fashion (Giants and Houston). The rookie phenom is the biggest thing the NFL has seen since, well, Michael Vick. If you remember, Vick took the league by storm and instantly made the Falcons a playoff contender. But, has the shine worn off a little bit? Or, to put it more strongly, is Vince Young a smarter Michael Vick?
The turning point for Young came in the third week of the season, with the Titans down big against the San Diego Chargers. They eventually lost 40-7 but Titans coach Jeff Fisher threw a barrage of plays at Young that he hadn't practiced. Young surprised Fisher with his progress, and the coach made him the starter on Oct. 1 against Dallas. Young started slow but has won 3 games in a row to take the city of Nashville, and the league by storm. The rookie has the Titans at 6-4 since taking over the starting job Oct. 1. Sunday, he was 19-for-29 for 218 yards and ran for a career-best 86 yards on seven carries in Houston.
Vick, on the other hand, hasn't made big news since he flipped his hometown fans the "dirty bird," after their home loss to the Saints. There's been talk that Vick still hasn't grasp the offense, despite the fact that it's stripped down to its core. Young, on the other hand, has a playbook that's ever expanding. People say Vick often runs when he should pass; they say Young always looks to pass first and then, when there's no other option, takes off. I don't know personally. I'll have to see who Young's receivers are. I know for a fact, that Vick has garbage to throw to. Actually garbage would at least catch the ball.
Also, the book is out on Vick. He's been in the league long enough now that the NFL has plenty of tape on him, while Young is still new, so guys haven't broke him down yet. Aside from being a "coach killer," (and apparently, a radio show host killer), Vick only needs about 30 yards to become the first quarterback in NFL history to rush for 1,000 in a season. He should do that easily. He should also be booed easily if the Falcons lose Saturday night against Big D.

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