Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Vince Young happy to help Bills
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Yes, Vince Young is comfortable with his role in Buffalo as Ryan Fitzpatrick's backup. And no, he won't be throwing out any "Dream Team" labels regarding the Bills.
Young learned that lesson the hard way in Philadelphia last season, when he was constantly reminded of using the term after the Eagles got off to a dreadful start and missed the playoffs.
"I wouldn't definitely want to make that comment again," Young said, shaking his head with a laugh on Tuesday in his first appearance with reporters since the free agent signed a one-year contract with the Bills. "It was definitely blown out of proportion."
That doesn't mean Young isn't impressed with the talent Buffalo has added this offseason in a bid to become a contender and end a 12-year playoff drought. One addition the former Titans quarterback is very familiar with from his AFC South playing days is defensive end Mario Williams, the former Houston star pass-rusher.
And Young's eager to serve in whatever capacity -- backup, starter, wildcat specialist -- to help his new team succeed in opening the latest chapter of what's been an up-and-down six-year career.
"It's a great opportunity to be here," Young said. "All you can do is come in and work. This league is crazy from injuries, all kind of things. I'm not wishing that on (Fitzpatrick). He's our starting quarterback and I'm behind him 100 percent."
Young, who turns 29 on Friday, spoke a day after he arrived in Buffalo, and a little after he held his first on-field workout.
Sipping from a water bottle and dressed in a Bills' red T-shirt, blue shorts and wearing a white team hat, Young said he signed with Buffalo because of the opportunity to play under an offensive-minded head coach in Chan Gailey. He said he's also familiar with the team's first-year quarterbacks coach David Lee, who recruited Young to play at Arkansas.
Young instead chose to play at Texas, where he became a Heisman Trophy finalist in leading the Longhorns to a win in the national championship in 2006.
Selected with the No. 3 pick by the Titans, Young made an immediate impact in being named the NFL's 2006 offensive rookie of the year. His career, however, has taken several turns and he's now on his third team in as many seasons after completing a one-year contract with the Eagles.
Young said he's not concerned about having to prove himself again with another one-year deal.
"The biggest thing is it's not about me. It's not about me at all. It's where I can go in and help," he said. "If it's one-year deals, it's an opportunity to play the game that I love, so that's my biggest thing."
Young struggled last season, finishing with four touchdowns and nine interceptions in six games, and was sacked eight times in six games, including three starts. Overall, he's put up inconsistent numbers. Though he has 46 touchdowns passing and 12 rushing, Young also has thrown 51 interceptions and lost 12 fumbles.
Known for his running ability, Young said he's still making the transition into a complete quarterback by learning how to stay in the pocket.
The Bills have made it clear that Fitzpatrick is their starter heading into the season, and that Young will compete with returning backup Tyler Thigpen for the No. 2 job.
Young's fine with that, and said he started to become accustomed to the role after backing up Michael Vick last season.
Young also said he's become better accustomed to deal with the criticism he's drawn, much of it during his five years at Tennessee where he lost the starting job on several occasions.
"I just use it as motivation to silence my doubters. I have a huge doubter base," he said. "My biggest thing is not feeding into that. You can't make everybody happy."