Set to turn 29-years old on Friday, and now a father of two, Vince Young has matured in many different ways. Listening to him answer questions posed by the Buffalo media Tuesday it’s obvious his career decisions are much more mature as well.
Young, realizing starting somewhere in the league in 2012 was likely to be remote, sought the best opportunity to improve his overall game, and that was in Buffalo
“I just really respect Coach Gailey and Coach Lee,” Young told Buffalobills.com. “I got a chance to work with some great guys over my years. Coach (Mike) Heimerdinger, may he rest in peace, and coach Andy Reid and Marty Morhninweg, two guys that read their history, done some great things and coached some great quarterbacks. So I thought this was an opportunity for myself to come in and learn some more knowledge on being the best I can be as a quarterback. That’s the biggest thing I was thinking about to up my skill level some more working with these guys.”
“We’ve got two of the best quarterback coaches in the business with Coach Gailey and then David Lee - those guys are good teachers,” said Bills GM Buddy Nix. “They will (have Vince) do what he can do best and trust me he’s a big, good athlete. You know he can do a lot of things for you.”
Young isn’t just blowing smoke when he speaks highly of Gailey and Lee. Buffalo’s quarterbacks coach has been trying to recruit Young since he was Parade magazine’s National Player of the Year as a high school star. At the time Lee was an offensive assistant at Arkansas, but has long been known as a master in quarterback mechanics.
But the veteran quarterback also did his homework on Gailey and his long and impressive resume. Gailey’s ability to maximize a quarterback’s strengths appealed greatly to Young.
“It shows you the great coach that he is,” said Young. “He understands his players so you’ve got to respect that. You want to be one of those guys that just sits there and learns and pay attention and keep your mouth closed. He’s been doing it since he was with (John) Elway and just reading his history he has a long beautiful history.”
So does Young, but the last couple of years have forced him to adjust his expectations. Transitioning from his release by the Titans, the team that drafted him third overall, to a one-year backup role in Philadelphia, Young now has a lot more respect for the game and his place in it.
That’s why even though the opportunity to put his game on display on Sundays will largely be determined by the health of
“All you can do is come in and work,” said Young. “This league is crazy injury-wise, and I don’t wish that on (Fitz) because he’s our starting quarterback and I’m behind him 100 percent. The biggest thing is not just at my position, but any position you have to always be ready because you never know what’s going to happen. So if it’s staying in shape, extra studying, getting extra throws in on Tuesday and all during the week… that’s the thing about being a backup quarterback, you have to stay ready because you can get the call at any minute. So that’s the biggest thing I learned last year.”
Buffalo’s quarterbacks coach is known as a stickler for details and Young has already got a to-do list from Lee after just a couple of days of working with him.
“When throwing to my left he was talking to me about opening up my hip a little bit more,” Young said. “A lot of the time I do feel that. I’m not opening up my left hip enough to get that throw more accurate to the sideline. So that’s something I’ll be working on a lot as well as getting used to some of the drops in a new offense.”
Coming from Philadelphia where five and seven-step drops are more prevalent in the offense, Young must now get accustomed to more of the three and five-step drops in Buffalo’s scheme.
All told, Young realizes how fortunate he has been to work with some very talented coordinators in the league including the late Mike Heimerdinger, Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Morhninweg and head coach Andy Reid. He sounds confident that Gailey and Lee can add another layer to his game.
“I’ve taken all of this knowledge and put it all into my game and now it makes the game fun,” he said. “You know what’s going on. You can change protections if you need to. What guys are trying to do scheme-wise, so it’s all coming together.
“My whole thing here will be sitting behind the scenes with Coach Lee just trying to learn and filter in as much knowledge as I can get with this new playbook and new terminology. So whenever I get a chance to go out and play I can showcase my talent with the things that I’ve learned. I’m looking forward to it.”