FanPost

Why did the Vince Young Experiment fail? Part One

[Note by JasonB, 01/28/12 7:54 PM EST ] BIBTD put a ton into this one.

Vince-young-eagles_medium

via losthatsportsblog.com

2011-2011 Season

G

GS

Comp

Att

PCT

Yds

Avg

TD

Int

Rate

6

3

66

114

57.9

866

7.6

4

9

60.8

2010-2011 Season

G

GS

Comp

Att

PCt

Yds

Avg

TD

INT

Rate

9

8

93

156

59.6

1,255

8.0

10

3

98.6

via NFL.com

Vince Young had a terrible year. Worst season in career but what gives? Andy Reid and Marty Mornhinweg have established a reputation in producing great to serviceable quarterbacks. Alongside Reid and Mornhinweg, lies quarterback coach Doug Penderson who help introduced Donovan McNabb to the West Coast Offense in 1999. There is no excuse for why the Vince Young project failed. Which bears the question: why did the Vince Young experiment failed this year?

In the first part, I will examine the mental aspects on why the Vince Young’s experiment failed. I believe the mental aspects are misrepresented a lot especially with fan interaction. Many fans hold this belief that sports is a exclusively physical task which is further from the truth. Without mental toughness and concentration, many players would not have the success they have now.

Too much pressure placed on Vince Young? In August, ESPN took his "Dream Team" statement out of context. This statement alone painted the Eagles as an arrogant team. While having pro-bowl skilled players in nearly every position, the Eagles were favorites to win the Super Bowl. The 2011 Eagles’ season was Super Bowl or bust. A grave task indeed.

With Super Bowl contention insight, no one expected Young to start a game this year. Even if Vince played this year, he looked great against the New York Jets during the preseason. No problem if Michael Vick got injured, right? At the time, no one realized that preseason game was smokes and mirrors. The New York Jets were a bad football team.

Fast forward and Michael Vick breaks his ribs playing the Arizona Cardinals. An injured Vick forces Young to start the next game against the New York Giants. During this point of the season, the Eagles’ playoffs hopes were on oxygen support. A lost against the New York Giants would eliminate the Eagles from playoff contention. This is a great burden place on someone especially when you are a backup quarterback. Maybe Michael Vick played through his injury to take the pressure off Vince Young? Nevertheless, an unconfident Vince Young would start against the New York Giants.

In his first game against the Giants, the Eagles won 17 -10. It was a terrible start but a win was only thing needed. In the next two games under Young's control, the Eagles scored only thirty- four points. In both games, the Eagles lost with at least a two touchdown deficit. At least four of his nine interceptions led to points for the opposition. Despite Vince's valiant effort, he was detrimental to his team. After the loss against the Seahawks, many people witness Vince Young have yet another emotional breakdown.

Many fans knew Vince Young had agonized from an earlier emotional trauma. In 2008, several networks reported that Vince Young was considering suicide. Later, Vince Young denied the allegations were true. Unfortunately, suicide has a nasty stigma surrounding it. Anyone person who mentions suicide runs the risk of losing their job, family and friends. Many Americans still believe that a suicidal person is either mentally weak or crazy. In Young’s case, the suicide claims gave his critics more evidence in proving his ineptitude as a quarterback. With his erroneous low Wonderlic score, his critics like Merril Hodge considered him mentally weak instead of mentally ill.

Mental illness is misunderstood with the general population. Many players take pride in playing through injuries and head trauma. Playing through an injury is the quickest way to receive your man card. Growing up, crying about your injuries would be considered effeminate. When Michael Vick received a concussion against the Falcons, he was respected for his desperation in playing through his concussion. In contrast, Jay Culter was viewed spineless for not playing through his injuries during last years’ NFC Championship. With mental illness, players are stigmatized as being weak.

With this negative stigma, many players do not report if they suffered from head trauma. Who can blame them especially when mental illness is considered a joke in the U.S? It is known that there is a physical connection with mental disorders. With every hit against the head, increases the risk of damaging memory, judgment and coordination. The late Andre Waters received fifteen concussions which led to his depression and finally his death. Sadly, the NFL refuses to acknowledge the problem despite finding mental impairment in over 2500 former players. It is unclear if Young suffers from brain trauma but the news coverage surrounding Vince Young’s suicidal thoughts was unnecessary. Nevertheless, critics used Young’s breakdown to justify why he is incompetent quarterback. The stigma that surrounds mental illness has prevented some players from being treated.

Here are several comments about Vince Young's emotion breakdown from the Internet.

What's wrong with you Vince? Black people don't commit suicide.

Vince is not accurate throwing the football so why would you think he could hit himself with a bullet?? The boy could buy some rope and I am sure lots of folks would show him how to make a noose.

If he believes suicide is the answer, fine. Get on with it. Mental illness is such a burden on our society, it's best that in death, those shall find peace. Those with mental illness, tend to hurt innocent people along the way. Let God handle it. Go ahead Vince, "Make my day."

White and proud of it. Just do not care for colored folks. I enjoy watching them perform on the football firld or basketball court but beyond that I have little use for colored folks.

I feel for you Mr. Young, but please, cut the crap and snap on your helmet while you've still got a chance.

Unaware of a possible mental condition, Young plays without confidence. Young hesitates a lot before throwing the ball which either led to many underthrown/overthrown passes or an interceptions. For the West Coast Offense to work, the quarterback needs to run plays automatically. The simplest miscue (example below) will easily lead to drop passes, or interceptions. Despite having a good offensive line, Vince Young looked uncomfortable in the pocket. Critics doubted a Michael Vick’s comeback so Vince Young could easily do the same.

Seahawks vs Eagles - Vince Young vs David Hawthorne Pick 6 (via QuickFixSports)

Good example but not the example I was looking for. I was looking for a pass play to Avant in end zone where Vince Young flinched before throwing but this will do. If you look at the above video, Vince Young doesn't even considered any other option but just throws to McCoy. It looks as he expects Lesean to make something happen despite nothing there. If you look closely, Riley Cooper is wide open.

It does not matter how talented a man is especially if his head is in the wrong place. With a lot of pressure to succeed, Young has failed to meet expectations. In Young's case, he is unemotional unstable which is often confused with stupidity and ignorance. With the simplest misfortune, Young instantaneously becomes unstable. Maybe this terrible year will allow Young to seek the help he needs? In regards, Eagle fans wish you the best.

References:

http://espn.go.com/blog/statsinfo/tag/_/name/vince-young

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001802/

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/18/sports/football/18waters.html?_r=1&ref=sports&oref=slogin

http://www.suicide.org/stigma-and-suicide.html

http://www.suicide.org/suicide-myths.html

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=3584636

http://www.nfl.com/player/vinceyoung/2506875/profile

http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/blog/shutdown_corner/post/vince-young-says-the-eagles-are-going-to-be-a-dream-team?urn=nfl,wp4302

http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/blog/shutdown_corner/post/Merril-Hoge-puts-the-boots-to-Vince-Young-while-?urn=nfl-109576

http://blogcritics.org/sports/article/vince-young-impressing-everyone-not-named/

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