Vince Young has won at least one battle with the Tennessee Titans this preseason.
He will remain the Titans’ No. 2 quarterback behind starter Kerry Collins and ahead of Patrick Ramsey, according to Coach Jeff Fisher on Sunday.
“He’s always been our No. 2 quarterback, and he’ll remain that,” Fisher said. “He’s done a nice job most of the time on the fields, and most of the time on Sundays or in the games and on the practice field. The stuff that we asked him to do in the ballgame, I thought he did a good job with.”
Young had his ups and downs in Saturday night’s 23-17 loss to the Cleveland Browns. His fumble at the goal line near the end of the first half killed one drive, and an interception of a pass in the flat was returned 11 yards for a touchdown by Cleveland’s Alex Hall.
“I thought Vince overall had a solid game, with those two exceptions. He was focused and he was accurate, and he was timely. He did a nice job on the line of scrimmage and managed that two-minute drill,” Fisher said. “The interception is one you shouldn’t throw. He’s got someone in his face, and he came around. The route wasn’t particularly perfect. I think he could have gotten some help off the route, but it happened, and he bounced right back.
“The second one, I can’t blame him for trying to make a play. I would like to think that in a regular season game right before half, he would throw the ball away, but he saw the gap, saw the opening and tried to make something happen.”
Young still managed to complete 17 of 24 passes for 174 yards and engineered a touchdown drive that he capped with a 15-yard toss to Matt Mulligan. That TD drive came on the heels of the pick-six by Hall.
“That’s one of the things that’s part of the experience, part of the learning experience. That’s part of playing the position over and over again,” Fisher said. “I think in the past, he struggled with an interception. He came right back. We told him, ‘Hey, we’re going to come right back and put it up. Go ahead and put a drive together.’ He’s taken responsibility for things. He knows the position is not an easy position to play, and there’s going to be some negative plays, but you have to move on.”
Young said after the game that he has been working on shaking off his mistakes and learning from them.
“I mean, interceptions happen. He made a great play, I put the ball behind him,” Young said. “I think I should have gotten the ball out or thrown it into the ground. They make plays, but like I was saying before the season started, that’s the one thing me and Coach [Mike] Heimerdinger always talked about, just putting the play behind you and getting ready for the next series or the next drive. That’s pretty much what I did.”
As for Ramsey, who did not play Saturday night because of sore ribs, Fisher said he is an NFL-caliber quarterback, one the Titans would like to keep on their 53-man roster.
“Pat’s done some real good things in ballgames and on the practice field as well,” Fisher said. “We’re fortunate we’ve got three real good quarterbacks. I think Pat can play in this league.”
Young’s improved play this preseason can, perhaps in part at least, be traced to the fact that he spent the entire off-season with the team, rather than bouncing back and forth between Nashville and taking classes in Austin, Texas.
“Clearly, the more time you put in here the better off you are, especially when you’re in a new system. Mike’s first year is always a challenge year for most quarterbacks,” Fisher said.