Titus Young's time in the NFL is rapidly going down the tubes. Nine days after the St. Louis Rams claimed the wide receiver on waivers following his release from the Lions, Rams head coach Jeff Fisher, who has taken risks on a lot of players with character questions throughout his long coaching career, said Young will not be a part of the team. The Rams will give Young his release.
“We felt like by claiming Titus, we would have the opportunity to spend a good deal of time with him,” Fisher said during a Friday media conference. “We spent four or five days with him, and as an organization -- at the end of the interview process, you might call it -- we felt it was best to go in another direction.
“We felt Titus is better suited for another organization.”
It's anybody's guess what that organization might be. Young was drafted by the Lions in the second round of the 2011 draft out of Boise State, but after two seasons of headaches that didn't match his production, he was cut on Feb. 4. Young had, among other things: Sucker-punched teammate Louis Delmas in practice, lined up in the wrong place during a game to protest his lack of playing time, been sent home on three different occasions for insubordination, and let loose some bizarre stuff on Twitter that showed, above all else, that he's in this for himself and nobody else.
Oh, and there was the time he claimed to be better than Calvin Johnson. Even his own high school coach couldn't get behind that one. And even the Lions, a team known to take chances on individuals with character concerns, couldn't stand it any more.
"It's not a distraction because we have moved on from him," Detroit center Dominic Raiola said of Young in November. "If he wants to be an [expletive], let him be an [expletive]. It's not my problem. What we can control is the guys who want to be here. I want people who want to be here and I think everybody else wants the same thing."
Now Fisher, who mentored current Lions head coach Jim Schwartz when the two worked together in Tennessee, has matched his protégé's relative intolerance for such knuckleheadedness. And this is the same guy who put high draft picks on guys like Adam "Pacman" Jones, Albert Haynesworth and Janoris Jenkins. With two of the more "free-thinking" organizations out of the way, one can only wonder where -- or if -- Young has a future in the NFL.
This should come as a surprise to nobody; Young's problems have been clear for a long time. Though he was productive in Boise State's offense, Young spent most of his time there in head coach Chris Peterson's doghouse. And when he went to Athletes Performance in Carson, Calif. before his 2011 draft to train, he lasted one day at the facility. Young was booted off the campus after threatening to beat up an intern when he was told that he ran a 4.6 40-yard dash when he expected to run a 4.3, according to football performance trainer Travelle Gaines, who worked at AP at the time.
Now, Titus Young has found himself on the wrong side of the risk/reward curve. Judging from recent events, he'll have to do an awful lot to change that.
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