Skip to main content

Young views Eagles as best opportunity to revive career

PHILADELPHIA -- Hoping to revive his career, Vince Young jumped at a chance to play for Andy Reid and learn from Michael Vick.

Jenkins just the latest new Eagle

The Eagles added to their list of impressive free-agent moves Saturday, agreeing

to a five-year, $25 million contract with ex- Packers
DL Cullen Jenkins.

Wise move.

Vick sat out two full seasons while serving a prison sentence and was shunned by the rest of the NFL when he returned. But the Philadelphia Eagles gave Vick a second chance, and Reid and his coaching staff turned the dynamic quarterback into an MVP candidate and Pro Bowl starter.

Can they do the same for Young?

The two-time Pro Bowl pick and former No. 3 overall draft choice is counting on it. One day after he was released by the Tennessee Titans, Young signed a one-year deal to be Vick's backup.

"Andy Reid, the respect that I have for him," Young said Saturday when asked what attracted him to Philadelphia. "I met him a long time ago. Some things stand out about him. He's respected across the league as well as how players talk about him and have his respect as well.

"I feel like it was a good fit for myself. I had a lot of opportunities, but I felt like this was a great opportunity for me to get better as a quarterback and learn from him, as well as learn from the rest of the quarterbacks here."

Reid and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg have played major roles in developing some great quarterbacks. Hall of Famer Steve Young, Brett Favre, Donovan McNabb and Jeff Garcia are on that list.

"I feel like being in contact with Marty as well as guys like Andy that's very smart and knows quarterbacks," Young said. "I really feel they're going to do a great job with expanding my career a little bit more and getting more knowledge and bringing my game to where I want it to be at."

Signing Young late Friday night capped a blockbuster 48 hours for the Eagles. Earlier, they stunned everyone by sneaking in and giving two-time All-Pro cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha to a five-year, $60 million deal.

The addition of Asomugha, widely regarded as the best cover cornerback in the NFL, came one day after the Eagles acquired two-time Pro Bowl cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie from the Arizona Cardinals in a trade for Kevin Kolb.

The defending NFC East champions also upgraded their defense by signing Pro Bowl end Jason Babin away from the Tennessee Titans and on Saturday agreed to terms with former Green Bay Packers defensive linemen Cullen Jenkins on a five-year, $25 million deal.

No wonder Young got lost in the excitement over those blockbuster moves. But he easily could end up playing a significant role on a team that now must be considered a front-runner to reach the Super Bowl.

Given the way Vick plays -- he scrambles often and isn't afraid to throw his body around -- Young probably shouldn't grow accustomed to holding a clipboard. It doesn't sound like he's planning to stand idly on the sideline.

"Oh yeah, we're going to compete," Young said. "That's what we do, and it's going to make him play better, and it's going to make me get better. That's what we have to do. I got his back, and whatever happens, if I get a chance to get out there, I know he's going to do the same.

"Right now, I'm just paying attention to him, listening, asking questions, but at the same time, I want to push him because I want to see him be the best that he can be and lead this team to a Super Bowl."

Young, 28, has an impressive college resume, going 30-2 as a starter at Texas and leading the Longhorns to a BCS national championship in his final game there.

However, Young's five-year pro career with the Titans had plenty of ups and downs.

Young was 30-17 as a starter but just 13-14 against teams finishing a season at .500 or better. He also battled questions over his work ethic, leadership and injuries. He suffered a season-ending thumb injury on his right hand last Nov. 21, tossed his shoulder pads into the stands and lashed out at coach Jeff Fisher in front of the locker room before storming out.

"It's definitely behind me," Young said. "It was learning experience. I'm a working product. Ain't no one perfect in the league, and then as you see as guys get older and more mature, they start to take off. I'm kind of in that mode right now. Definitely wouldn't take nothing back. I've learned from all my mistakes. So I'm just basically ready to move forward and do what I can to get to a Super Bowl."

Reid recalled Young approached him at an awards banquet several years ago and that conversation left a good impression.

"I was impressed by him," Reid said. "Things happen in this league, and I understand that. I mean, I know how things work; it's not the players' fault, it's not the team's fault. He had one of the all-time great coaches in Jeff Fisher and he was with a phenomenal team, but things happen.

"The one thing that you know about Vince Young is that he wins football games. I mean, you can say whatever; whatever somebody has an opinion on they can have an opinion on. This guy wins football games, and he loves to play the game. And so I've told you before, those are the guys I want. Man, I love surrounding myself with that energy. These guys, they come in and they're vicious competitors, and so I welcome those guys."

Young joined the Titans as the successor to Steve McNair. He started off strong, being selected The Associated Press NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2006, and he helped the Titans go 10-6 with a wild-card playoff spot in 2007.

But Young had an injury in the 2008 opener, and Fisher wound up calling police when the quarterback's mother worried about him speeding off one day later from his home in his Mercedes.

Veteran Kerry Collins remained the starter as the Titans opened 10-0 and earned the AFC's No. 1 seed that season.

But Young came off the bench under owner Bud Adams' orders after the Titans started 0-6 in 2009, and the quarterback helped them win eight of their final 10 games. He started eight of nine games in 2010, but couldn't finish three games because of injuries. He threw for 10 touchdowns with just three interceptions and a career-best 98.6 passer rating as he was 93 of 156 for 1,255 yards.

Overall, Young has completed just 58 percent of his passes with 42 touchdowns and as many interceptions. He has rushed for 1,380 yards, with a 5.2-yard average, and 12 more touchdowns.

"All the things that happened there, definitely got a lot of respect for the Tennessee Titans' organization," Young said. "For them to give me the opportunity to come play there and the things that we went through, I really felt like it was best for me to move on, and the Eagles saw that the best opportunity was to come here as well. "

He's already off to a good start with fans. They gave Young an ovation when he ran onto the field for his first practice with the Eagles.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.