While Lions coach Jim Schwartz took a shot at Titus Young yesterday, saying the young wide receiver would have knee surgery “unless he doesn’t show up for it,” others are taking a more therapeutic approach.
Veteran wide receiver Nate Burleson in particular said he hopes the time on injured reserve gives Young an opportunity to mature.
“I hate to jump to conclusions without hearing both sides,” Burleson said, via Chris McCosky of the Detroit News. “I haven’t talked to Titus and I haven’t talked to the coaches about specifically what’s going on with him. You just hope that a young talent like this gets a chance to show his ability, because this league is the NFL — Not For Long.
“If you don’t take advantage of opportunities, sometimes it’s tough to get chances.”
Burleson, on IR himself after a broken leg, said the time away from the team could give Young a chance to reflect.
“I think everybody would hope [the time away will do Young some good],” Burleson said. “It lets you kind of re-evaluate what it is you want out of the NFL. You’ve got to have an understanding that you are going to get from the NFL exactly what you give.”
Of course, the Lions won’t just play Father Flanagan for the benefit of a troubled youth. The reality is Young could be a valuable part if he chose to be.
“He could be really good,” Burleson said. “He’s extremely talented; some of the best hands I’ve ever seen. That’s just me being honest. He’s a great route runner. When he’s healthy he can get in and out of his breaks as fast as I’ve ever seen.
“He has a chance to be a mainstay in the NFL. It’s just that you have to start your career off right. You’ve got to kind of earn your stripes and go through the wringer like everybody else did. You make your mistakes and you learn from them. You get back up and you go out there and play ball.”
The Cowboys are willing to give Dez Bryant multiple chances because of his incredible talent, and Young’s approach this offseason will likely determine whether he gets the same benefit of the doubt without the same level of physical gifts.