Vince Young says he's frustrated
After reflecting on the messy events during and after Sunday's loss to the Washington Redskins, quarterback Vince Young said his biggest issue with Jeff Fisher is that the Tennessee coach lacked the confidence in him to return to the game when Young thought he could have played with his thumb injury.
"It was very frustrating," Young said in a Sunday night telephone conversation.
Young's comments followed an emotional day in which he was booed, injured his thumb, threw his shoulder pads into the stands, reportedly verbally sparred with Fisher in the locker room -- saying he was walking out on the coach, not the team -- and stormed out of LP Field without talking to the media.
Fisher said afterward Sunday that Young had lost his hold on the Titans' starting quarterback position.
Young said he knows he made mistakes dealing with the situation Sunday and didn't react the way he should have. But he said his frustration of not playing and not having Fisher's faith had built up to the point in which he didn't know how to handle it. He now knows he did not handle matters the right way.
"It was just an awkward situation," Young said. "I just want to play football. I want to win games. I want to go to the Super Bowl. That's it."
Young, who tore the flexor tendon in his right thumb late in the third quarter and was replaced by rookie Rusty Smith, left for the locker room after being hurt but returned to the sideline and had the thumb taped and re-taped in an effort to return. He even tried a glove, but Fisher stuck with Smith.
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What made it even more frustrating, Young said, was that the Titans opted to go with quarterback Kerry Collins in Week 10 against the Miami Dolphins when Young felt like he was physically ready to start.
Later on Monday, Titans owner Bud Adams said he's told both Young and Fisher to "get this thing settled" and work together. The Tennessean reported Monday that Adams has talked to all involved and told them to get back to work.
Adams said their issues will all go away pretty quick. Young is under contract through 2011 and due $8.5 million. Adams says Young will be back because he wouldn't want to let him go. Fisher is under contract through 2011 also, and Adams says that is why you have contracts.
Young also has had to endure a season in which he has had to battle through various ailments, from a sprained ankle he suffered during a Monday night win over Jacksonville to the thumb injury he incurred Sunday that led to an MRI on Monday morning.
Meanwhile, Young denied throwing his jersey in the stands, as was widely reported. He said he was simply giving it to the daughter of longtime Titans executive vice president Don MacLachlan.
"She's been very supportive of me and I wanted to give it to her as a sign of thanks because she knows what I'm going through," Young said.
Young also denied throwing "half his uniform" in the stands, as Fisher said his quarterback did after the game. "I throw my shoes into the stands after every game, my hat into the stands after every game, my wristbands into the stands after every game," Young said. "If it's a problem, I'll pay for my jersey."
When the team gathered in the locker room following the loss, Young began muttering and cursing under his breath as Fisher addressed the team, the Tennessean reported Sunday night.
After Fisher asked Young to be quiet, the paper said, the quarterback finished dressing and prepared to leave the room. Fisher told Young to stop and not to "run out on your teammates," sources told The Tennessean. Young told Fisher, "I'm not running out on my teammates, I'm running out on you," the paper said.
Fisher admitted he and Young spoke in the locker room, but wouldn't discuss what was said.
"That is between me and him and the team," Fisher said.
Young then left the locker room and ignored media members as Titans safety and former University of Texas teammate Michael Griffin chased after him. The Tennessean reported that Griffin was seen confronting Young in the players' parking lot.
Griffin reportedly pleaded with Young, "You can't leave, you can't do this," before Young shrugged and left.
Griffin denied chasing after Young, but multiple media outlets reported witnessing the incident. Griffin did say that he hoped people can set aside their egos and personal feelings so they could stick together as a team.
Young also said that Griffin did not chase him up the tunnel. "But I was upset with the way I was being treated and I just needed to get out of there," he said.
Young said he is frustrated and bewildered at the criticism now being leveled at him.
"It is not just me. It falls back on me, but I don't know how to respond to it when it's not just me. I'm outnumbered right now," he said.
Adam Schefter is an ESPN NFL Insider. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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