When quarterback Vince Young signed as a free agent with the Buffalo Bills, many quickly assumed that the former Tennessee Titans starter and Michael Vick’s backup, would waltz right into the No. 2 spot behind Bills’ starter Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Not so fast.
Talk is that head coach Chan Gailey may not exactly be blown away by the veteran and former college football hero. Sure, the Bills liked him enough to sign him and bring him along to training camp, but it seems that Tyler Thigpen, now entering his second season with the Bills, has a leg up on newcomer Young.
In fairness, Gailey is in the process of installing even more of his complicated offense, a process that the coach has revved up in his second season. Young has had a lot to learn, and fast. This is his third offense in as many seasons after leaving the Titans and spending a year with the Philadelphia Eagles under head coach Andy Reid.
Something to think about: Why didn’t Philly fight hard to keep Young, especially considering Vick’s recent injury history and penchant for getting hit? Hmm.
Young’s meltdown, or perceived meltdown, made headlines in 2010 and for too long the issue haunted him. He was no longer seen as a starter, which explains why the Eagles brought him in last year to backup Vick. Earlier this year, Young waited while several other veterans found new homes. Finally, Buffalo called and Young jumped at the chance. The Bills have confidence that Fitzpatrick can play as well as he did in the first half of 2011 for a full season, but Young was brought in just in case Fitzy crumbled.
Still, Thigpen has been solid so far.
Can VY retake the No. 2 spot with his athleticism and experience? Will he implode the way he did before he was summarily released by Tennessee? Can Young quickly learn Gailey’s playbook, the one with which Thigpen has more familiarity?
These questions will be answered later this summer in training camp at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, N.Y.