It’s quickly become popular to justify the Packers’ decision to sign quarterback Vince Young by pointing to the first two games of the schedule.
Green Bay opens against the 49ers and the Redskins, two teams with mobile quarterbacks. Given the manner in which San Fran quarterback Colin Kaepernick zipped through the many holes in the Packers in January, the defense needs to practice against a mobile quarterback.
But the schedule was released in April. The Packers have known that they’re opening with a one-two punch of quarterbacks who can run. Why would they wait so long to add a quarterback whose primary job would be to get the defense ready to face other quarterbacks, especially since the rest of the schedule has only one team (the Eagles) that potentially presents the same problem?
Young has joined the Packers because they realize that they rolled the dice and got lucky in 2012 by using Graham Harrell as the backup to Aaron Rodgers. But with Rodgers sacked 51 times last year and B.J. Coleman unable to leapfrog Harrell in camp and Plan A for revamping the offensive line now blown up (sir), the Packers needed a better backup.
Enter Vince Young, who showed enough ability to win the 2006 offensive rookie of the year award. His career collapsed after repeated clashes with former Titans coach Jeff Fisher (all of which apparently were Young’s fault), erratic play often fueled by an ability to overcome adversity, a failure to seize upon the opportunity to shine when filling in for Mike Vick in 2011, and distractions that included creditors reportedly showing up at practice last year in Buffalo and hassling Young for the repayment of a lockout loan.
If Young hasn’t been humbled now, he never will be. Most recently, the process of eyeballing his possessions for auction commenced, given that he still owes $1.7 million. And when Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew declared last week that half the guys drafted before him in 2006 are now working at Target, we wondered whether even Target would hire Young at this point.
But the Packers did. Because the Packers simply need a backup quarterback who is better than the one they have. Because the Packers realize that, while the loss of Bryan Bulaga for the season can be overcome, a season-ending injury to Aaron Rodgers would turn the Packers into the Bad Dream Team.