When Vince Young flipped out Sunday, reportedly throwing his pads into the crowd in frustration and storming out of the locker room, it was childish behavior from an athlete who might just not get it.
It shouldn't, however, cost Young his job as the starting quarterback.
Now, that's not to get into the right and the wrong of how he behaved. It is simply what is best for the football team.
Young's job may be more dependent on the status of his right thumb than it is his standing with head coach Jeff Fisher, and obviously, if he can't throw the football then he shouldn't be on the field. But if Young's thumb proves to be strong enough to play, then Fisher has to put Young on the field next Sunday in Houston if he wants a chance to get the 5-5 Titans into the playoffs.
Fisher said Sunday, after an overtime loss at home to the Redskins, that Rusty Smith will be the starting quarterback, no matter the extent of Young's injury, according to The Tennessean.
"I am very disappointed," Fisher said in his postgame news conference. "I think his teammates are disappointed. You know, there is going to be frustration in losses. … There are times when you have to dig deep and fight and turn to one another. I don't think you run and so I am disappointed."
Fisher should have been disappointed, as it's not exactly the first time that Young has caused him headaches. However, he shouldn't let that force his hand to make a decision that could sink the season for Tennessee.
It was only a few short weeks ago that the Titans took a gamble and acquired Randy Moss. At 5-3, the Titans were among the contenders in the AFC. A pair of losses to Miami and Washington changes that a bit, but a three-game winning streak can turn it all around. With eight wins in its final 10 games last year, this team showed it could pull off such a streak.
Yet, as it is, Fisher wants to throw his eggs into the basket of Smith, a sixth-round draft pick out of Florida Atlantic. He completed three of his nine passes on Sunday, but he threw an interception when he overshot Nate Washington by at least five yards.
Young, who left the game late in the third quarter when he injured his thumb, didn't enjoy watching Smith play in the fourth quarter and overtime, feeling he was strong enough to get back into the game. Flipping out was the wrong response, but he was doing so because he knew that even without a thumb, he'd likely perform better than Smith.
That's not to say that Young has been lighting the world on fire, but Rusty Smith is not about to lead the Titans down the stretch run of the schedule.
In football, there are often debates about what's right and what's wrong, but for a head coach, it should only be about what helps a team win games. At this point for Jeff Fisher, there really shouldn't be a question.
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