Having patience with our young signal-caller
As a football fan, yesterdays exciting playoff upsets were a thrill to behold. The San Diego Chargers marched into the RCA Dome and dethroned the world champion Indianapolis Colts and the determined New York Giants upset the heavily favored Dallas Cowboys, a team that had previously defeated the Giants in both of their two meetings during the regular season.
Leading the charge for the two unlikely playoff winners yesterday were two young quarterbacks, Philip Rivers and Eli Manning, who have received their share of scrutiny over the course of their brief careers. Rivers performed admirably despite suffering a knee injury that eventually knocked him out of the game. Eli finally started to live up to the Manning quarterback pedigree with his solid performance against Dallas.
In his short career, Vince Young can relate to some of the experiences that Rivers and Manning have had to go through.
Coming off of a scintillating Rookie of the Year performance when he led his team to the cusp of the postseason, bigger things were expected from Young during his sophomore season.
Despite the hype and the heightened expectations, Youngs 2007 season was filled with inconsistency. Despite his teams 10-6 season and playoff birth, Young only threw 9 touchdown passes and 17 interceptions. A nagging quad injury and untimely drops by his receivers were also contributing factors in Youngs disappointing second season.
The breakthrough performances by Rivers and Manning yesterday should serve as a reminder that it takes time for a young quarterback to realize his potential. Playing in an intense media market such as New York City while also being the younger brother of one of the games premier quarterbacks, Eli Manning has had to withstand a lot of scrutiny in his short tenure in the NFL. Of course, having his ex-teammate/media personality Tiki Barber question his leadership in a very public fashion was another obstacle that Manning has had to overcome. However, to his credit, Manning has started to display some of his potential as of late, while leading his team to the conference title game.
The moral of this story is that as Titans fans, we must realize that it is going to take some time for a young quarterback to develop in this league. Despite Youngs disappointing performance, there is still a lot of time for him to transform into the quarterback we all think that he can become one day. However, as the case with Rivers and Manning, Young's progression is going to be filled with some ups and downs, some good games and some bad ones.
Like the Chargers and the Giants this year, the Titans can only hope that this time next season, NFL prognosticators will be talking about the emergence of their young signal-caller as one of the main reasons for Tennessee's appearance in a conference championship game.