Tennessee Titans  

 

Young in, Collins out as Titans coach Fisher switches QBs

  • By Associated Press
More Columns >

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams wants more of Vince Young. Adams will have just that, with his winless team switching from veteran Kerry Collins back to Young as the starting quatrerback.

Titans coach Jeff Fisher announced the expected move Thursday following practice, and Young received the news in the morning. Fisher insists that the switch to Young, the 2006 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, was an organizational decision resulting from the team's 0-6 start and that he won't play musical chairs with the position.




For more on the Tennessee Titans, check out the latest from our bloggers.

»  Blog Blitz: Titans

"We're in a unique situation right now," Fisher said. "We haven't won a game. We wouldn't be having this conversation if we were 3-3."

That means Young will start Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars (3-3), the team that helped send him to the bench in the 2008 season opener by picking off two of his passes and spraining his knee. Collins started 20 of the 21 games since then.

Young has eight career interceptions and just three touchdown passes against the Jaguars. He also has more career interceptions (33) than touchdown passes (22). But he has won five of his last six starts and is 18-11 as a starter.

Young thanked Fisher for giving him a chance to sit back, develop and learn from Collins.

"For him to give me a shot again to go out and give it a chance again is big for me because I've been waiting," Young said.

The move appeared inevitable since the Titans lost 59-0 at New England on Oct. 18. Adams told The Tennessean newspaper after that defeat that he wanted to see more of Young.

Young split the work evenly with Collins at practice Wednesday but took all snaps with the first-team offense Thursday.

Collins wasn't happy or surprised by the move, which came one day after the Titans started prepping for their next game.

"When you're 0-6, then heads are going to roll," Collins said. "More times than not, it's the quarterback."

Young started the meaningless regular-season finale at Indianapolis last December, so this will be his first start under pressure since that 2008 opener.

It's a game best known for Young being booed by the home fans and refusing at first to go back on the field until prompted by Fisher. Young sprained his knee a few plays later, then sparked a police hunt the next day when he drove off from his home with a gun in his car. The quarterback blamed his mother for overreacting to the situation.

"If we win, it's going to be good," Young said. "If we lose, it's all going to be Vince Young's fault. I just want to go out and play and get my rhythm back and put smiles on my coaches' faces and my teammates' faces and definitely the fans."

Collins led Tennessee to a 13-3 record last season and signed a two-year, $15 million deal during the offseason to return as the starter. He hasn't been helped by at least 18 drops by his receivers.

The Titans are off to their worst start under Fisher, and Young is the quarterback the franchise drafted No. 3 overall in 2006 and has a $4.25 million bonus due in March. He's also scheduled to count $14.2 million against the salary cap if he's on the roster in 2010.

NFL Shop

Linebacker Keith Bulluck said the Titans' winless start isn't Collins' fault.

"We're going with V.Y., and I'm happy for him in the sense that he's someone who lost his spot and had to sit back, take a back seat, be humbled out a little bit but has learned a lot in that time," Bulluck said. "I'm kind of looking forward to see how he's grown as a player."

Young replaced Collins in 2006 in the fourth game of an 0-5 start, and the Titans wound up winning eight of their final 11 that season to just miss a playoff berth.

The Jaguars sound as if they expected Young to play all along.

"The owner said who he wants to play," said Jaguars linebacker Clint Ingram, a former Oklahoma standout who played against Young when the quarterback was at Texas.

Notes: Titans CB Cortland Finnegan was limited in his first practice since Oct. 8. WR Nate Washington sat out with an injured quad, and KR Mark Jones didn't practice with an injured hamstring. ... RB Javon Ringer watched practice Thursday after a night spent in a hospital with an injured back, and Fisher said the team is optimistic the rookie won't miss a lot of time.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

Headlines

The previous element was an advertisement.

NFL Shop

NFL News
CONTENT
15