Young, Thigpen get chance to revive careers
May, 1, 2014
By Pat McManamon | ESPN.com
BEREA, Ohio -- I might have been a little harsh on Vince Young the other day -- in an attempt to be humorous.
After seeing and hearing him, he might bring something to the Browns if he makes the team. A year ago he didn't make the Packers coming out of preseason. Now he'll have a chance to make the Browns, as the team signed both Young and Tyler Thigpen coming out of minicamp.
Assuming the Browns add another quarterback in the draft, they'll have five heading to the full-team minicamp in June and perhaps training camp.
The Browns had to see something they liked in Young and Thigpen to keep both. On the field during interviews following the final practice, coach Mike Pettine said the team's brass had to meet to decide who would be signed.
Less than two minutes after the media returned to the media room, word had broken that the Browns had agreed with both players.
Not even Don Draper works that fast in meetings.
How the Browns will use the veterans remains to be seen. Perhaps they and Brian Hoyer will all compete along with the rookie. Perhaps Thigpen and Young will compete to be the backup.
Clearly Young is the more interesting story of the pair. Perhaps he will pull a Jim Plunkett and revive his career in Cleveland. He is 31-19 as a starter, but the last time he started a game was 2011. His experience in Green Bay would indicate his climb is uphill.
“You can tell he's very rusty,” Pettine said. “I was joking with him the other day that it was falling off and rust was falling off in large clumps.”
But when Young left college to become the third overall pick in the draft, many predicted he would change the league. He started 28 games his first two seasons, 10 in his fourth -- when he went 8-2.
Things went south the next season.
Young said upon signing that he would cancel his return flight and stay in Cleveland to further study the playbook. Which is a good sign. So was the way he spoke about filling any role and helping any way he could.
The Browns have seen quarterbacks of all sizes, shapes and abilities ramble through the training facility here. Young and Thigpen might not be as good as many, but they are better than some.
The Browns needed a veteran backup, and they needed someone for this camp.
Young and Thigpen provided the arms needed.
Now they get a chance to prove to the Browns that they are needed.