Fisher says Young needs time to learn from Collins
Tennessee Titans coach Jeff Fisher indicated it may be awhile before quarterback Vince Young gets his job back. But on Saturday night Fisher forcefully denied some of the allegations and elements of a police report that dramatized Young's alleged escapades on Monday when he reportedly threatened to commit suicide.
"Some of that stuff in the report was just flat-out wrong ...erroneous," Fisher said. "It's not an accurate portrayal of the events. I know. I was in the middle of it. And Vince is fine and he's going to be fine ...there's going to be a positive outcome."
Specifically, Fisher clarified certain aspects of the police report he said are misleading:
• Young was never at LP Stadium "let alone going off ...with a gun," as the report stated. In fact, a Nashville public information officer early Saturday morning also corrected the report and stated that Young never appeared at the stadium.
• Vince Young does not have a personal therapist, as cited in the report. Fisher said the therapist, Sheila Peters, is employed by the club and is available on-site to all team personnel two or three days during the week.
• It was Mike Mu, who is Young's local marketing manager, who called Peters with the alarm that Young had left his home without his cell phone, threatening to quit and was speeding down the interstate with a gun in his car after talking about suicide. Peters, in turn, called Fisher with Mu's account but she never spoke to directly with Young, as indicated in the report, until the end of the night.
"Look, when I got the call from Sheila, she was reacting on [Mu's] story and I had no way to reach Vince because he didn't have his phone. So I did what anybody would do -- I called the police," Fisher said. "Once the police are involved, there's certain protocol that has to be followed.
"So when Vince finally got home later that night, he called me and said, 'What's up?' I told him he had to come down to the facility to meet with the police. Vince said, 'I'm fine, coach.' I said, 'I know you're fine but there's a protocol now and you have to come down here and see the police face-to-face.' And he did. They talked to him. Yes, there was a gun in the car -- you can't say that's unusual with players these days -- but it wasn't loaded and the police didn't have a problem with it. Then Sheila spoke with him and determined he was all right, too. And everybody went home."
As to Young's state of mind regarding possible suicide, Fisher said, "I don't buy it," and was irritated with Mu's involvement with Young.
However, Fisher acknowledged that Young had hit a "valley" with his emotions stemming from his performance, the fans' reaction and an injury the quarterback suffered during Sunday's 17-10 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
"Sometimes in life, you hit a wall and that's what is happening with Vince," said Fisher. "You get booed, you throw [interceptions] and you have injuries. But we're going to turn this into a positive experience. One day, when he's ready, he'll be our quarterback again."
Veteran Kerry Collins will be the starter for the Titans on Sunday when they travel play the Bengals. Young did not make the trip.
"That's our policy with injured players," Fisher said. "Vince has been in a good frame of mind the past couple of days. He's been in for treatment and taking care of business."
Fisher didn't say that Young, the team's top draft pick in 2006, would automatically get his job back when his sprained left knee heals in approximately four weeks.
"One thing that Vince never really got to do like a lot of young quarterbacks is just sit back and watch how a seasoned pro goes about the job," Fisher said. "His rookie year, yes, he watched Kerry play for three games but Kerry had just joined the team right before the season and didn't really know the scheme or the playbook.
"The only time it really happened was last year when Kerry started after Vince got hurt. Kerry started in Houston [Oct. 21] and he played great [25-of-42 passing, 280 yards in a 38-36 win].
"So I want [Young] to get well, sit back, watch and learn how Kerry prepares, how he plays, how he reacts to adversity. As you know, Kerry went through a lot of things early in his career as a No. 1 pick [in Carolina] but he's the model of stability and consistency right now. Kerry's a good person and he'll help Vince just by example and the nature of his own personal story. We'll make this a positive experience for Vince and, in the end, he'll be what we thought he could be."
Chris Mortensen is a Senior NFL Analyst for ESPN.
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