The Titans made Vince Young the third overall pick in the 2006 NFL draft, and he played five seasons in Tennessee, all for coach Jeff Fisher. Young doesn’t think Fisher did much to help him develop as a franchise quarterback.
Young detailed for Sports Illustrated all the ways he felt mistreated by Fisher, who declined to comment for the story.
“I’m going to expose his ass,” Young said of Fisher, detailing the following issues between them:
1. Fisher leaked private discussions the two of them had to the media.
2. Fisher told the pilot of the team plane to take off without Young the day before a road game during Young’s rookie year, even though Young told Fisher he would only be a couple minutes late to the airport and Fisher had held the plane for other players in the past.
3. Fisher falsely told people that Young was suicidal.
4. Fisher banned Young from team meetings the week after Young walked off the sideline after Fisher pulled him from what turned out to be the last game Young ever played for the Titans.
5. Fisher didn’t respond years later when Young sent him a letter apologizing for his role in their strained relationship.
None of those issues reflect well on Fisher, but on closer scrutiny it’s hard to justify putting all the blame on Fisher for those issues, either.
1. Young is now doing the same thing he criticizes Fisher for doing, telling the media about private conversations the two of them had.
2. Young was late for a team flight. That’s on Young.
3. If Fisher really told people that Young was suicidal to discredit Young, that’s a terrible thing to do. But context matters here: At the same time that Fisher was allegedly telling people Young was suicidal, early in the 2008 season, Young’s own mother was telling the media that Young was “hurting inside and out” to such an extent that he might not want to play football anymore. It’s entirely possible that Fisher was telling people Young was suicidal because Fisher was genuinely worried that Young could hurt himself and was trying to get him help.
4. Young threw his shoulder pads into the stands and stormed off during a game. Fisher is hardly the only coach who would tell a player not to come back after that.
5. Fisher could have been the bigger man and responded to Young’s letter, but Young’s own account of the letter suggests that he realizes he bears some of the blame for his strained relationship with Fisher.
Young sounds like he still blames Fisher for his failures in Tennessee. Perhaps Young should look in the mirror when he wonders who to blame for his subsequent failures in Philadelphia, Buffalo, Green Bay, Cleveland and Saskatchewan.