The League

Zach Leibowitz
Sideline Reporter

Zach Leibowitz

A former sideline reporter for ESPN

Young and the Sidelines

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One injury can change careers and franchises. Just look at Vince Young in Tennessee.
The Titans would not be 12-1 and closing in on homefield advantage throughout the playoffs with Young at the helm. That's not to say they wouldn't be a playoff team, because they were last year, even without the services of emerging rookie star Chris Johnson.

However, the early injury and issues surrounding Young forced the Johnson/Lendale White tandem to pick up the slack. It also forced the ball into the hands of a solid and efficient QB in Kerry Collins. While no one thinks of Collins as the QB they want leading their team -- or their fantasy team for that matter -- Collins minimizes mistakes and follows the game plan. He's been to the Super Bowl in 2000 with the Giants and led the Panthers to the NFC title game years before that. So, the former Penn State star and Heisman trophy finalist has played in the big games and has proven he can get there.

With Young at QB for the entire season, I'm not convinced Johnson would have shined the way he did this season. I think the focus of the Titans offense would have first revolved around their versatile QB -- which would have given Tennessee about nine or so solid wins at this point; but not 12-1, and not the top seed in the AFC. With Young comes distractions and over the course of a full NFL season while in the spotlight, further distractions are inevitable. While uniquely talented and already playoff experienced, I'm not sure Young's capable of running an elite squad quite yet. It will be interesting to see how the rest of this year plays out and how the Titans choose to handle Young in the playoffs and then next season.

Jeff Fisher is one of the best coaches in the NFL -- the prime example being he was coaching this franchise when the Oilers were in Houston. Fisher's been to the playoffs many times and he knows how to get to the Super Bowl. Fisher clearly believes a solid, but less publicized Collins, teamed with White and Johnson give the Titans the best chance to win the Super Bowl. That means he believes his team has a better chance to win a Super Bowl with Young on the sidelines. Take that statement as you will.

By Zach Leibowitz  |  December 9, 2008; 11:56 AM ET  | Category:  Tennessee Titans Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Collins the Better Option | Next: Music City Miracle II

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