Young apologizes to Titans
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Contrite quarterback Vince Young apologized to his teammates, coaches, fans and the Tennessee Titans' organization following a Monday practice for a misdemeanor assault citation he got at a Dallas strip club early Sunday.
Young said he's hopeful the incident won't result in a suspension. The Titans open the season Sept. 12 against Oakland.
I pray to God that Roger Goodell doesn't come down hard on me, because I definitely want to be here for my teammates.” -- Vince Young
"I pray to God that Roger Goodell doesn't come down hard on me, because I definitely want to be here for my teammates," Young said.
Said Titans coach Jeff Fisher: "I'm disappointed. He's taken responsibility for it. I like to think he's learned a lesson. He had no business making the decision that he made and obviously he's got to deal with those consequences.
"The league will look into it. The commissioner is very strict about these types of things and I am sure we'll hear from him after we get more information."
The Titans' second game of the 2010 season Sept. 19 is against Pittsburgh, which will be without Ben Roethlisberger because of his own suspension.
Young was in Dallas Sunday for an autograph session. He said he was headed back to his hotel when he decided to go out on the town with a friend. They went to Club Onyx, which Young said was a bad decision.
"Just made a mistake, made a mistake even being there and let that guy provoke me into doing what I did," Young told reporters after a Titans offseason practice. "Fell into his hands, what he wanted me to do so he could do what he's doing now. At the same time, let my lawyers take care of it."
Young said the upside-down Texans Longhorns sign Creiton Kinchen, a manager of a Dallas-area strip club, made to him is disrespectful but said "it was more than that" and that "there was a lot of stuff going on" that led to the scuffle. He also said he didn't throw a punch, that "it was just a push."
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The attorney for Young said he plans to get a court date scheduled within the next 48 hours and enter a plea of not guilty for his client.
Scotty B. Allen, a Dallas-based attorney, said Monday that Young was provoked into attacking Kinchen. Allen said he's also looking into getting the charges dropped.
The incident occurred in a small office around 3:30 a.m. Sunday morning. Young lunged after Kinchen when he made what is considered a disparaging hand sign about the University of Texas, where Young attended school. Kinchen also allegedly made some personal remarks about the quarterback.
"It went way beyond the University of Texas," Allen said. "It was some personal things in nature that were very offensive. I don't think the actions Vince took warranted an assault."
Allen also said that Young did not throw a punch and that it's unfortunate the security video the police released does not have any audio. Allen would not get into specifics about what Kinchen said to Young.
The Titans let several veterans go since the 2009 season ended and Young has said he intends to provide more leadership.
"Becoming a leader is a process, you don't just step up and take over a team," Fisher said. "It's a process and in the process on occasion you hope that there are not setbacks, but this may be a setback. But in the long run I don't think this is going to affect him."
Young showed up in Nashville for a late pinch-hitting appearance in Fisher's annual charity softball game Sunday night. Young planned to talk with Fisher sometime Monday afternoon, but he insisted he's completely focused on football.
"We've got a team goal right now like we want to finish a season in Dallas in the Super Bowl. Right now like y'all see me today still had a good practice, got back to work," Young said.
Monday, players piled on, giving him a hard time in the locker room before practice, he said. He was slated to sit down with Fisher later in the afternoon.
"It's past, it's over with," Young said. "Now I am letting my legal folks and the process go on about it, let them take care of that. Right now I am just playing football."
Despite his poor decision, Young said he has matured.
He said he is handling this situation differently than when he was injured in the 2008 season opener. During that game he had been booed after being intercepted twice and apparently refused to go back into the game before being hurt. The next day police were called to search for him when his mother worried about how he was handling the injury.
He lost his starting job to Kerry Collins after the injury, and the Titans went 13-3 with Young on the bench.
"I didn't know how to handle it at first. I'm more accustomed to it now. I made my mistake. I'm owning up to my mistake," Young said.
Paul Kuharsky covers the AFC South for ESPN.com. Information from ESPNDallas.com's Calvin Watkins and The Associated Press was used in this report.
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