Is Vince Young right to settle for a Green Bay Packers back up role ?

Vince Young

Vince Young has signed for the Green Bay Packers in time for the 2013 NFL season, but what's a player who was so highly sought after coming out of college doing settling for a back up role ?

But the Vince Young of today is a very different player than the college kid who emerged seven years ago.

The first round of the 2006 NFL draft produced no fewer than 17 Pro Bowl calibre players, not many of them had more wind in their sales than the third pick out of Texas, Vince Young. He was expected to bring in the next generation of NFL quarterbacks; fast and athletic, with a strong arm.

Young was a duel threat QB, a player that could beat you with his arm and run rings around a defense with his feet. The Tennessee Titans, who picked him at three, were hoping they got themselves a franchise quarterback that would anchor their offense for the next decade.

However it didn’t quite work out the way they wanted, despite two Pro Bowl appearances at the end of his rookie season and in 2009. Unfortunately for Young, Pro Bowl appearances aren't what the greats are judged on - playoff wins are the key stat, and Young has had the grand total of zero throughout his career.

Injury wrecked Young's 2008 season, as he lost his starting spot to veteran QB Jeff Garcia, who led the team to a 13-3 record that clinched home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Although, once again, the Titans fell at the first hurdle to the Ray Lewis led Baltimore Ravens at home in the Divisional round.

There were some bright spots for Young, however, as he won 8 of the 9 games he started in the 2009 campaign, though a playoff berth was beyond him after a poor start to the campaign.

Sadly this steady rise in form didn’t last long and came to a head in week 11 in 2010. Young suffered a torn tendon in his thumb and was removed from the game and, despite being ready to return, he was left on the sideline. Tempers later boiled over with head coach Jeff Fisher in the dressing room.

This was the final straw for Titans management, who had stood by their QB for four and half seasons. It was time for both parties to walk away from a failed project.

The draft is a funny old game. Two picks before Young, the Houston Texans selected Mario Williams who has been an elite defensive end since coming into the league. The pick after ? D’Brickashaw Ferguson, who's been one of the few bright spots for the otherwise disastrous New York Jets.

Since being released by the Titans, Young has had one stint in the NFL, a rather disastrous stay at the Philadelphia Eagles. On arrival, he coined the squad a ‘dream team’, but missing out on the playoffs with an 8-8 record wasn’t quite what he had in mind I’m sure (cue much derision from the media and fans alike).

In his absence from the NFL, Young has experienced off-field problems including falling into financial difficulties having reportedly spent most of the $34m dollars he was paid over NFL career to that time.

It begs the question whether there is too much pressure on young sportsmen coming into the NFL - the money and the endorsements can all be too much for some.

Being in the Packers organisation, and backing up and learning from one of the best quarterbacks in the game - Aaron Rodgers - will only help Young, though, who, despite being only 30, will feel that he has something to prove.

Time will tell.

image: © aaronisnotcool