NFL Nation: Sen\Derrick Marks

The Big Question: What to expect from VY?

April, 6, 2010
4/06/10
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NFC Big Question: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

What can we expect from Vince Young in 2010?

[+] EnlargeYoung
Steve Dykes/US PresswireVince Young threw for 1,879 yards in the Titans' final 10 games of the 2009 season.
When this question was posed to me last year at this time, I felt Young would be an unsuccessful quarterback in 2009 -- and going forward. I just didn’t trust him to throw the ball well and accurately enough. Nothing is static in this business, and although I am not ready to say that I am a total believer in Young, my tune has surely changed.

Of course, Young deserves a ton of credit for this improvement, but so does coach Jeff Fisher and the Titans’ offensive play calling. I see a lot of half-field reads for Young and obviously Tennessee employs a run-first offensive approach. It also doesn’t hurt having the threat of Chris Johnson as a runner and outlet receiver to make life much easier on a developing quarterback. The Titans also have one of the very best offensive lines in the league and a young, promising group of pass-catchers.

But back to the original question. Young’s supporting cast shouldn’t change much in 2010. In fact, those pass-catchers -- namely Kenny Britt and Jared Cook -- should be further along in their development. Britt in particular should really assert himself this season.

But most important, Young should continue to progress as well. Of course, Young is very dangerous with his legs and he should continue to present a threat in this capacity, but his passing skills improved by leaps and bounds in 2009 since his last stint as a starting quarterback. His ball placement and touch on throws to all levels is vastly improved. Young seems to understand that staying in the pocket to make the throw is usually a better decision than tucking it down and running in the NFL.

But still, this isn’t an offense built to come from behind. Young needs to keep the offense on schedule and move the chains. I see him continuing to do just that, but also further refining his passing skills and deciphering defensive schemes.

Sometimes failure is a great thing for a quarterback. They come back and no longer are playing scared or like the weight of the franchise is planted on their shoulder pads. Young did play fast at times last year, but less so than in the past, and those instances probably will continue to decline. He looks like a much more relaxed quarterback.

Draft Watch: AFC South

March, 26, 2010
3/26/10
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Each week leading up to the NFL draft (April 22-24), the ESPN.com blog network will take a division-by-division look at key aspects of the draft. Today’s topic: Under the radar needs.

Houston Texans

While DeMeco Ryans in the middle and Brian Cushing on the strongside are fixtures, the weakside and linebacker depth rate as a secondary issue for the Texans. They could use a pick on the right guy. Gary Kubiak said early this week that Kris Brown can expect competition as the team’s placekicker starting in OTAs. That allows for the possibility the team could use a late pick on a kicker.

Indianapolis Colts

While the team was pleased with the progress of Antonio Johnson and Daniel Muir and expect a second-year jump from Fili Moala, it could still look to add another bigger defensive tackle. Tyjuan Hagler was the starting strongside linebacker at the start of the season, but when an injury ended his season Philip Wheeler took over. That could be a spot Bill Polian addresses. As the team looks for better run-blocking linemen, is Gijon Robinson judged as a sufficient run-blocking H-back/tight end or might there be a better option available than Robinson or injury-prone Tom Santi?

Jacksonville Jaguars

Linebacker hasn’t gotten as much attention as defensive end and the secondary in pre-draft talk so far, but only Daryl Smith is safe from competition. The Jaguars loaded up with three wide receivers in Gene Smith’s first draft, but they lack playmakers and can use a solid guy opposite Mike Sims-Walker if they smack into one during the draft. Indications are the Jaguars will stick with a David Garrard-Luke McCown starter-backup tandem, but Jacksonville needs to develop another quarterback.

Tennessee Titans

Even presuming Michael Griffin bounces back from a very poor third season, Chris Hope will turn 30 early in the fall and the Titans primary depth at safety is Vincent Fuller, who they need playing nickel. Tony Brown, Jason Jones, Jovan Haye, Sen’Derrick Marks and Kevin Vickerson look like a reasonably talented and deep group, but Haye and Marks underwhelmed in their first seasons. Drafting a tackle wouldn’t be a surprise. If Kevin Mawae doesn’t return as a backup center, the Titans will need an interior offensive lineman to back up the three starters.

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