BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -- Three months into Vince Young's third chance to prove himself in the NFL, the Buffalo Bills quarterback isn't yet satisfied with his performance or fully comfortable with the offense.
''I feel like it's OK. I'm still not happy,'' Young said this week. ''I'm still not relaxed to this point yet. But with more reps in practice and more game situation, I feel I can get a little bit better.''
That opportunity will come when the Bills (No. 19 in the AP Pro32) play their second game of the preseason at Minnesota on Friday. Young will take his turn running the second-team offense behind starter Ryan Fitzpatrick.
''I would love to play the whole game,'' he said, understanding that's not going to happen. ''But whatever snaps (coach) will give me, I'll take advantage of that.''
Young is taking nothing for granted because he's aware his place on the team is not a lock. He and returning backup Tyler Thigpen are competing for the No. 2 job, with the loser expected to be cut. That's because coach Chan Gailey has already awarded the No. 3 job to receiver/wildcat specialist Brad Smith.
In assessing the competition at the start of training camp, Gailey noted that the strong-but-sometimes erratic-armed Young had the edge in athleticism - particularly with his mobility - and more experience as an NFL starter.
As for Thigpen, Gailey said the sixth-year player had a better grasp of the coach's offensive philosophy. Thigpen had all of last year to learn the system in Buffalo, and Gailey was the offensive coordinator in Kansas City in 2008 when Thigpen started 11 games.
Three weeks later, Gailey still described the competition as one that's too close to call.
''They've made it tough this whole time,'' Gailey said. ''Vince was really behind the eight-ball early. But he's come on strong. So it's going to be a tough decision for us.''
That Young's job is not secure is an indication of how far his star's fallen since making several big splashes in 2006. That's when he played a significant role in leading Texas to the national championship, was selected by Tennessee with the third pick in the draft and was then named the NFL's offensive rookie of the year.
Despite being a two-time Pro Bowl selection and going 30-17 in 47 starts, he eventually wore out his welcome with the Titans after the 2010 season. He then signed with Philadelphia, where he struggled as Michael Vick's backup, throwing four touchdowns and nine interceptions in six games, including three starts.
Buffalo took a chance in signing the 29-year-old in May but only to a one-year, incentive-laden contract that's potentially worth $3 million. And the Bills made clear that their interest in Young was limited to him competing for a backup job.
''It's not about me,'' Young said, when asked what the adjustment has been like playing a secondary role. ''It's all about just working. I've got an opportunity to play here. I want to make the best of it.''
Young is coming off a so-so outing with the third-string offense in a 7-6 loss to Washington last week. He completed 5 of 12 passes for 50 yards, and led Buffalo with 37 yards rushing on five carries. That included a 21-yard scamper in a third-and-20 situation.
Young's ability to take off and run has never been in question for a player who has 1,459 yards rushing on 282 carries, and 12 touchdowns. The problem has been accuracy for a quarterback who has thrown 46 touchdowns and 51 interceptions.
In practice, there have been times when Young has looked downright dominant. During a team drill Monday, he zipped a pass deep over the middle to hit receiver Ruvell Martin in stride. A few plays later, he threaded another pass to Martin through a crowd at the goal line to complete the drive.
''That's the best he has done since he's been here,'' Gailey said.
And yet there have been moments when Young has struggled, such as the time he threw a pass 10 feet over a receiver's head along the sideline. Gailey noted there were times in the preseason game that Young appeared unsure of a passing play, and instead took off and ran with the ball.
Young understands he still has work to do.
''It's good to hear that from coach,'' Young said, when informed of Gailey's praise. ''But overall, I feel like I'm still not where I want to be at. So I'm continuing to keep working at it.''
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