Vintage Vince Young bids for Packers backup QB job
Vintage Vince Young resurfaced for one entertaining series at
Running for first downs and extending plays, the seven-year NFL
veteran looked Friday night as if was scrambling around again in a
Texas Longhorns uniform.
He’ll settle for the green-and-gold outfits of the Green Bay
Packers. Young made a strong bid for the backup quarterback job
behind Aaron Rodgers with an impressive outing in limited time
during the 17-10 preseason loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
”As a quarterback, you want to lead your guys out there. You
want to convert on third downs, you want to make first downs and
know you’re going to make the right throws and call the right
plays,” Young said. ”I really feel like as a second- and
third-team unit, I think we took a step forward, but we still have
a lot to do to work.”
Playing in the third quarter, Young finished 6 of 7 for 41 yards
and a 1-yard touchdown pass to Jonathan Amosa to tie the game at
10. He also ran for 39 yards on three carries, including a 21-yard
scramble on a second-and-7 to the Green Bay 44.
Young’s second series went three-and-out, but a high snap that
led to a 15-yard loss was mainly to blame. All in all, Young seized
the opportunity presented by coach Mike McCarthy, who’s looking to
sort out the three-way competition for the backup job between
Young, Graham Harrell and B.J. Coleman.
”Vince Young, the dimension of running, that’s something that
we really wanted to see. I think you’re just seeing Vince get more
and more comfortable with what’s asked of him … very instinctive
with big plays,” McCarthy said. ”I think Vince is definitely one
of the players who took advantage of his opportunities
Young has only been in camp since Aug. 6. Before that, he was
out of football for a year after being cut by the Buffalo
Drafted by the Titans, Young has had a checkered career as a
starter for the Titans and a backup to Michael Vick with the
Philadelphia Eagles. He’s been to two Pro Bowls, and has a 74.4
career passer rating.
Young has said he’s grown up off the field while getting married
and trying to fix financial problems. On the field, he’s trying to
make the Packers while picking up their complicated offense on the
fly, with Harrell and Coleman having had a lengthy head start.
Rodgers, who finished 4 of 7 for 41 yards in one series against
Seattle, liked how Young was progressing.
”This is a wordy system and a difficult system to pick up,”
Rodgers said. ”He obviously came in after seven installs had been
put in already. So he was behind, but he’s been picking it up and
Harrell, the incumbent backup, finished 6 of 13 for 49 yards,
while Coleman was 2 of 7 for eight yards. Playing in the fourth
quarter, Coleman was also sacked twice.
Flush with experience, Young showed off the elusiveness Friday
night that harkened back to his collegiate days. Even Pete Carroll
was on the opposing sideline coaching Seattle, just like Young’s
last college game when Texas beat the Carroll-led Southern
California Trojans in the 2006 Rose Bowl for the BCS title.
”That’s his game right there, being able to make plays when the
pocket breaks down or when they’re only rushing four and playing a
lot of man coverage,” Rodgers said. ”Vince obviously is still a
great athlete, and he was able to get us down there and get it in
the end zone.”
NOTES: Starting RB DuJuan Harris left Friday’s game after
appearing to reinjure his right knee after being flipped over by a
defender while trying to lunge for extra yardage. It was Harris’
first preseason action. CB Casey Hayward, who had an interception,
re-aggravated a hamstring injury. McCarthy also reported that S
Morgan Burnett and LB Brad Jones had hamstring injuries. ”We’ll
see how these guys feel in the morning. Maybe it’s not as bad as we
may think right now,” the coach said … WR Randall Cobb (biceps)
returned to practice this week on a limited basis but also missed
Friday’s game. WR Jordy Nelson and CB Tramon Williams, starters who
each have knee injuries, also sat out as expected. … Green Bay
finishes the preseason schedule with a visit Thursday night to
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