Jeff Fisher wants Vince Young to man up.
The Tennessee Titans’ coach confirmed Wednesday an ESPN.com report that Young apologized in a text message Tuesday for his actions during and immediately following Sunday’s overtime loss to the Washington Redskins.
He also made it clear, though, that he considered the gesture insufficient.
"I'm not a real big text guy,” Fisher said. “I'm not really into this new age stuff, I don't Twitter or Tweet.
“But I think face to face is a man thing, OK?”
According to the report, Young “thanked Fisher for the opportunity to play for the Titans and wished him and the team good luck for the rest of the season. Young ended the text by asking Fisher to have more faith and confidence in him moving forward.”
“Someone could have grabbed his phone,” Fisher said.
Fisher said Young forfeited his role as the starting quarterback when he openly pouted on the sidelines and stormed out of the locker room Sunday. Young was disappointed that he was not allowed to return to the contest after he sustained a torn tendon in the thumb on his throwing hand.
Young will require season-ending surgery and was placed on injured reserve Tuesday because of the injury.
• Smith ready to go: Rookie quarterback Rusty Smith, who will make his first career start Sunday at Houston, spent extra time at practice throwing with receivers Randy Moss, Nate Washingon and Justin Gage as well as tight end Bo Scaife.
“I’ve been throwing with the scout team and the younger guys,” Smith said. “Vince and Kerry [Collins] have been getting the reps with the older guys so I’m just trying to get on the same page with the guys I’m going to be throwing to in the game.
Smith called the opportunity to start “a dream come true” but said he figures to be nervous prior to kickoff.
“I expect the nerves to kick in a little bit, as they should,” he said. “I heard somebody say if you’re not nervous then you’re not ready.”
• Mariani honored: Rookie return man Marc Mariani was named AFC special teams player of the week for his performance against the Redskins.
He had an 87-yard punt return for a touchdown, which helped raise his league-leading punt return average to 17.1 yards. That puts him on pace to break the franchise record of 15.4 set in 1977 by Billy “White Shoes” Johnson.
“It’s a little bittersweet,” Mariani said. “You’d always like to win the game above all else.”
• Welcome back: Chris Simms was back with the team — any team — for the first time since the Titans waived him on Sept. 4.
The 30-year-old was re-signed to take Young’s place on the active roster.
“It actually worked out well because I was living in Green Hills the whole time with my family,” he said. “… A couple of times I thought something was going to happen but either the team made another move or just didn’t sign anybody.”
Simms will be the backup to Smith on Sunday at Houston.
• Injury update: Among the Titans who did not practice Wednesday were defensive end Dave Ball (concussion), defensive tackles Jason Jones (knee) and Tony Brown (knee), and kicker Rob Bironas (groin).
Collins (calf), wide receiver Kenny Britt (hamstring) and tight end Craig Stevens (knee), all of whom missed the Washington game, all sat out as well.