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Monday, May 16, 2011
QB debates: Following up Vince Young

By Mike Sando

Vince Young's ugly divorce from the Tennessee Titans drew disapproving reviews and will scare off some potential suitors.

Should the Seattle Seahawks consider him?

Vince Young
Would Vince Young fit in with what the Seahawks are trying to do?
I asked the question Friday, drawing a wide range of well-considered responses. Let's consider a sampling of them here, augmented with my own thoughts.

"Absolutely not!" Anointed102969 wrote. "Look at our roster on offense? Russell Okung, Max Unger, John Moffitt, James Carpenter and Golden Tate could all be starters next season. Those are five guys on offense with less than one year of NFL experience. Vince Young quit on his team. He walked out on his coaches during a film-review session. Cops had to look for him. You want this kind of head case leading a bunch of young bucks on offense? No thanks!"

The Seahawks, without even considering whether Young would fit their offense, will likely eliminate Young from serious consideration for these reasons alone. General manager John Schneider said the team avoided drafting Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith, among other players with off-field question marks, because the Seattle locker room was not yet strong enough to assimilate such players. Of course, Smith would have cost the team a first-round draft choice. Young would not require such an investment.

"I am a Seahawks fan that has been stationed at Fort Campbell, Ky., for the last seven years," Jeroli1 wrote. "I have seen Young play, including going to a preseason game when he was a rookie. This kid has raw talant. The problem is his mouth. If Pete Carroll can put a gag on him and keep him from pouting, Young could be just what Seattle needs. With the addition of two young offensive linemen and a quarterback that can flat out run, they could be scary again."

Young's mix of athleticism and arm strength might have fit the Seahawks' passing game better last season, when coordinator Jeremy Bates was running a Mike Shanahan-style offense. The team is expected to place more value on accuracy and timing under new coordinator Darrell Bevell, although Carroll has sometimes downplayed the changes.

The bigger question is really whether Young's baggage would be tolerable at his position, under these circumstances. Taking chances on non-quarterbacks is easier. The stakes are lower. Teams generally carry only three quarterbacks on their rosters. Young would be at least one-third of the equation at the position. Other players look to quarterbacks for leadership. Quarterbacks must lead by example with their work habits, how they interact with others in the organization and how they project themselves publicly. Young has failed on some of those levels.

"Between Carroll and line coach Tom Cable, there should be plenty of 'tough love' to keep his head straight," akmac61 wrote.

Let's say Young played well in 2011. Then what? Could a rebuilding team seriously consider making a more significant commitment? I have serious doubts.

"Hey naysayers, there's no risk!" iamdugan wrote. "No loss of draft picks, no real investments -- no harm, no foul. Either Pete Carroll helps Young reach his potential and we get an absolute stud horse superstar, or he flops and probably gets cut faster then LenDale White. Also, I know we all have high hopes for the two latest rookie additions to our offensive line, but what if they don't pan out? What if we're crippled by injuries again? Wouldn't having a QB with Young's athleticism and mobility be a huge plus?"

The White experiment applies on a couple levels.

One, the Seahawks gave White a look even though they had to know exactly what they were getting into. Carroll had coached White at USC. Schneider, vice president of pro personnel Will Lewis and others in the Seattle organization have strong ties to Tennessee general manager Mike Reinfeldt and numerous others in the Titans organization. Those ties would have enhanced the Seahawks' feel for the situation.

Two, the Seahawks proved with White that they would act preemptively if they felt as though a player weren't holding up his end. They could, at least in theory, take a similar approach with Young, provided they could sign him to a deal without significant guarantees.

"A team should only consider Young if they have a veteran in place who is able and willing to shepherd him into the team's offense and culture," ptech wrote. "Young is talented, but juvenile and fragile and he will require the right mix of both tough-love and unfettered support. By all reports, he's a huge headache and his return to the league would need to happen in a perfect place. I'm not sure Seattle is that place."