Titans quarterback Vince Young has lost his hold on the starting job, coach Jeff Fisher said following Tennessee’s 19-16 overtime loss to the Washington Washington Football Team on Sunday.
Fisher’s comments followed an emotional day for Young in which the fifth-year signal-caller was booed, injured his thumb, threw his shoulder pads into the stands, stormed out of LP Field without talking to the media and reportedly verbally sparred with his coach following the game. 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.
After the game, Young walked toward the tunnel and suddenly tossed his shoulder pads and jersey into the stands.
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.
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. Told that Young’s injury could end his season, Griffin said he didn’t know that.
“Whatever happens, that’s between them two,” Griffin said of Fisher and Young. “I’m just trying to be a loyal teammate and a supporter.”
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’s teammates weren’t talking about the incident after the game.
Kuharsky: This Should Be It
Kuharsky Vince Young has gone too far, reportedly yelling at his coach and bailing on teammates. It’s time for the Titans to move on, Paul Kuhasky writes. Blog
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“We were told to keep our mouths shut, and that’s what I’m gonna do,” receiver Nate Washington said.
Tight end Bo Scaife told The Tennessean, “I am sure [Young] is upset. But what happened is between him and coach. Hopefully they can get some stuff resolved.”
Fisher said he was very disappointed and thinks Young’s teammates are disappointed in Young’s behavior after this loss.
“There is going to be frustration in losses,” Fisher said. “There is going to be times when you have to dig deep and fight and turn to one another. I don’t think you run, and so I am disappointed.”
Fisher told The Tennessean, “There are some things that need to change.” Fisher said regardless of Young’s health, he was sticking with Smith at quarterback.
He also said that he kept Young out of the game because he didn’t think he was healthy enough to play.
“I was not satisfied with [Young’s] ability to control the ball,” Fisher told The Tennessean. “He never came to me and said he was OK and wanted to go back in, and I was told he was obviously a little upset after. I was also told he threw half his uniform into the stands. I think clearly that is no way to respond, and so we have some things we have to sort out with him. He may need surgery, and if that’s the case, he’s done for the year.”
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