Work to do: Vince Young has yet to secure No. 2 quarterback job
GREEN BAY—Vince Young was in no mood to spike the football on Sunday. He has been banished by teams before, abandoned to quarterback purgatory. Momentum can be reversed at any moment.
“I really feel like the job is still up in the air right now,” said Young.
So, no, the comeback is not yet complete.
The Packers have presumably moved forward with a quarterback who's been in town three weeks over one that's been around three-plus years. But one day after Graham Harrell's release, the quarterback derby continues between Young and B.J. Coleman. One exhibition game to go, Young still needs to cross the finish line.
It's not quite Pasadena in 2006. But Thursday night is essentially the Vince Young Bowl.
The former national champion has one more hurdle to clear.
“We have two quarterbacks here,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “And the No. 2 spot hasn't been answered. That's where we are. B.J. and Vince are going to compete and take the majority of this football game.”
The 6-foot-5, 230-pound Young and 6-foot-3, 231-pound Coleman have both steered the offense to the end zone on long, efficient touchdown drives this preseason. Soon after arriving, though, Young took snaps ahead of the 2012 seventh-rounder in practice and on game day. To reach this point—on the verge of making a 53-man roster after face-planting in Buffalo and spending all of 2012 out of football—Young needed to cram quickly.
He compared this cram session to the one he had in Philadelphia out of the lockout.
Working with quarterbacks coach Ben McAdoo, he learned quick enough to make Harrell expendable.
“You can't do anything but study, study, study, stay in the book, ask questions,” Young said. “That's pretty much all you can do. When you get the reps, you want to learn from it and get in the film room and watch it over again and listen to Coach Benny tell you some things you can do get better at with your feet or your progressions.
“It's about film work and more reps and getting more plays and getting more comfortable with the offense.”
Learning the playbook matters. Grasping McCarthy's acute footwork does, too. But so does excelling in his element. Young's package of plays against Seattle catered to his strengths, his playmaking ability. Working out of the shotgun, Young spotted a crease here, a crease there and scrambled for 21 and 18 yards. He rolled out of play action to hit Andrew Quarless for 16 yards. He threw a touchdown pass to cap the drive.
All in all, the Packers let Young operate on the move
He's not getting too lost in the maze of X's and O's. He isn't going to reinvent himself. Now, one former college teammate sees signs of a younger Young.
“At the end of the day, it's football,” tight end Jermichael Finley said. “He didn't make it harder than it was. He just came out, played the type of ball that he knows and it all fell together.”
Said Young, “I'm just a guy who likes to win ball games. If it's making plays and extending the play or if its making a good throw down field, whatever happens, I want to get out there, get a good tempo and lead the guys and try to get some points on the board.”