QB Young stays positive despite role

Updated: April 20, 2009, 12:32 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Quarterback Vince Young says he is content to stay in the shadows behind Tennessee Titans starter Kerry Collins this season and not "get into the hoopla any more."

Young spoke publicly Sunday for the first time since the Titans picked up veteran quarterback Patrick Ramsey this offseason after re-signing Collins to a two-year, $14 million deal.

Young
Young

"I am just going to keep my mouth closed, man," Young said, according to The Tennessean. "All I am doing this year is shutting up, just shutting up and working. I am going to smile and shut up and continue being Vince Young, a happy smiling guy. I am not going to get into the hoopla any more because of the fact I can't win any more, I see.

"I am just going to shut my mouth and play my role, and if they need me then I will be available as a weapon."

Young, the 2006 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year who started 28 games during his first two seasons before Collins took over early last year, joined several Titans teammates in a celebrity basketball game at Tennessee State in Nashville on Sunday night.

He said he met with coach Jeff Fisher during the offseason to talk about 2009.

"I just basically went in and said I don't know what is going on, but I am going to come in there and work and go from there and let him make his own decision,'' Young said, according to the Nashville newspaper. "I just want to keep working out and staying out of the way unless they need me."

Fisher on Vince Young

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Titans head coach Jeff Fisher says Kerry Collins is the starter but it is not impossible for Vince Young to earn his job back.

Young said he has made no trade demands of the Titans and continues to be encouraged with the team and Nashville despite an indefinite future.

If the Titans were to part ways with Young before this season started, it would actually cost them an additional $2.76 million against the salary cap.

But in swallowing a $7.38 million cap hit in 2009, the Titans would take Young off their books beyond 2009 and then save $9.29 million in salary-cap room in 2010 and $12.75 million in 2011.

Barring a scenario where he replaced an injured Collins and had an MVP season or won a Super Bowl as the starter -- and maybe even in the context of such events -- it's unlikely Young will be a Titan under this contract in 2010, when he's due a $4.25 roster bonus, a $7.5 million base salary and would cost $14.21 million against the cap under contract and only $4.29 million if he was taken off the roster.

"I definitely want to be in Nashville and it is a team I am committed to," Young said. "But it is always a business and you never know what goes on. But I will always have myself prepared.''

Young started the Titans' first game of last season but was booed by the home fans and injured his knee. He skipped a scheduled MRI exam a day later, then prompted a police search when he raised the concerns of those close to him by taking off hours later without his cell phone.

He played in two more games the rest of the season as the Titans went 13-3 and won the AFC South.

"I just don't want them to say anything about Vince Young that he is not taking care of his responsibilities," Young said. "I will always take of my responsibilities if I am not playing or if I am playing. I don't want no negative stuff going out to other teams saying Vince Young is not playing and because he's being a bad guy. That is not me.

"Whatever they want me to do that is what I am going to do. If they want me to sit on the sideline and be there to watch the game then that is OK with me, but at the same time I am getting my checks and I am fine.''

Information from ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky, who covers the AFC South, was used in this report.

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