Friday, May 30, 2008
In ensuing interview, Young says he didn't consider quitting
ESPN.com news services
Vince Young can't imagine what his life would be like without football.
So, reacting to a posted interview on NFL.com that quoted him as saying he considered quitting the game after his first season as a pro, the Tennessee Titans' 2006 rookie of the year sought to set the record straight.
"I was never going to quit football,'' Young told The Tennessean on Thursday during retired quarterback Steve McNair's annual football camp. "Football, that is my pride and joy, it is my dream. I am playing my dream. And I don't plan on giving that up any time soon."
In an interview posted Monday on NFL.com, Young said off-the-field demands on him and his time led him to consider walking away from the game.
"I really thought long and hard about it," he said, according to the Web site. "There was so much going on with my family. It was crazy being an NFL quarterback. It wasn't fun anymore. All of the fun was out of it. All of the excitement was gone. All I was doing was worrying about things.
"My teammates helped lift me out of it. I prayed really hard. And I began to focus on God's calling for me. Play football. Be a role model."
Young was installed as the Titans' starter in Week 4 of his rookie season and led Tennessee to an 8-8 record. The Titans barely missed making the playoffs, but Young was named to the Pro Bowl.
On Thursday, he said NFL.com's report was "blown out of proportion." He said he has a clear head and is eager to begin his third NFL season.
"Oh, my God. Oh, my God. I ain't never said I was going to quit football," Young told The Tennessean. "There was a lot of stuff going on in my life, but football is not hard to me. Football is easy. All you have to do is be coachable and use your God-given talent. If it was a thought at all it was just a passing thought for a second.''
Last season, the Titans did make it to the playoffs, but Young threw all nine of the team's touchdown passes for the fewest of any team in the league. Nonetheless, he learned to live with the pressure of being an NFL quarterback.
He proved that to himself when he handled scrutiny that came his way when pictures of him drinking shirtless at a party showed up on the Internet.
"I have a stronger circle," Young said in his interview with NFL.com. "Now I can handle this kind of stuff without it making me want to give up football."