The Titans organization hopes that quarterback Jake Locker can one day become the longtime franchise quarterback that Vince Young failed to become for the franchise.
It’s funny, then, that Titans corner Alterraun Verner chose to invoke the name of the former Titan when asked to compare Locker to another NFL quarterback while he was a guest of Ross Tucker and Alex Marvez on Sirius XM NFL Radio show. It’s important to note that Verner didn’t mean it as a negative judgment on Locker, who he raved about elsewhere in the interview.
“The reason why I say that is that I feel like Vince Young was a winner. Vince always tried to find a way to win.”
Verner’s point on the Vince Young as winner front is debatable, but he has a solid point stylistically.
Both Locker and Young came out of college as quarterbacks prized for their athletic ability and, at 6’3″, Locker is just a shade shorter than Young. Both quarterbacks played in offenses that had them throwing on the move often while in college, leading to questions about how effectively they’d be able to run a professional offense. Given the lazy habit of only comparing players to others with the same skin tone, you probably would have heard a lot of Young comparisons when Locker was coming out of school if Locker was also African-American.
While there’s no denying the physical similarities, Locker has two advantages over Young. He still has a chance to disprove concerns about his ability to transition to the pro game and he can avoid the off-field issues that helped bring Young’s time as Tennessee’s starting quarterback to an end. If he does those things, you’ll be able to look back on the comparisons to Young as being almost as ridiculous as the fact that Cam Newton was also compared to Young when he came out of college.