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Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky
Vince Young is spending some time this week pitching his new Reebok line of VY Electrify shoes and I spoke with him for a bit this afternoon.
(Here's the commercial and some stuff from behind the scenes, a little heavy on the hype, but we learn he was a Dolphin as a kid.)
Two things that might have turned into traditions for him didn't or won't happen this year.
While he invited receivers to Houston for some work after OTAs were done, everyone but Biren Ealy had 4th of July plans and so the gathering didn't happen. And he said there won't be a second version of the letter of thanks and encouragement he left in every player's locker at the start of camp in 2007, though he plans on addressing the team early on once he sorts it out with Jeff Fisher.
Here's most of the rest of our chat:
PK: You've got Reebok, Spaulding, Powerade and you were on the cover of Madden last year -- how's life as a pitchman?
VY: It's going good, my dream coming true, a lot of great partnerships. Reebok is doing a lot of great things with the VY Electrify that's out right now. It's pretty much a dream come true. It's a pretty cool deal to do.
PK: The offseason had included so much talk about your footwork. How different will things be for you at the first practice of camp on Friday compared to last year?
VY: It's going to be great. First, I'm more relaxed. I know what to expect going into camp now, it's my third year so I am more comfortable, I know what's going on around me, so I can concentrate more on the game and what I need to do to get myself better and better. Working with Coach (Mike) Heimerdinger and Craig (Johnson), they've done a great job of getting my footwork to come with my arm when I am throwing the ball down the field.
PK: Can you name one thing you want to improve on during camp?
VY: One thing? I can't really say just one. I just want overall my game to continue to keep (progressing) like it is. From the things that are being taught to me now are going to help me out a while lot, getting the ball out of my hands a little bit quicker. Coach Heimerdinger has done a great job behind the scenes with a lot of film work, a lot of board work, so I can understand different things about what defenses are trying to do to me. That part, bringing that with the talent I have I really feel like I am going to do a good job this year.
The whole team, we had a great offseason. Individually, what I started working out in February, getting my core back stronger and back right and getting more in shape a little bit quicker, I really feel like with that along with a new offensive scheme and us being more aggressive, wanting to get in the end zone more, the good things about it, when you have a whole offense that buys into it, that means we're definitely going to have a good season. On the offensive side of the ball we're on the same page.
PK: Do you expect the offense will spread things out more often this year considering it's been a strength for you and is a good fit for speedy first-round running back Chris Johnson?
VY: It's just bringing another X factor to the game that a lot of people are going to have to take a lot of concentration off me and when he steps into the game put more on him. And then we've got LenDale White and (Alge) Crumpler coming in. We've got a lot of guys who can make a lot of plays for us on and with the offensive scheme Coach Heimerdinger has, very aggressive, likes to go downfield, they're going to have to pay attention to all of us and him spreading things out is going to be real great for our offense this year.
PK: How much better does the TD-to-interception ratio need to be after nine and seventeen last year?
VY: I definitely want my interceptions down and more touchdowns. But at the same time as long as we keep putting up Ws on the scoreboard, that's all that matters to me.
I'll be interested to see how Young reacts to the first bit of adversity he faces this season. We talked at OTAs about his maturation, and I believe his progress in that department will be a factor in his success along with the new offense, spreading things out and his improved footwork.