The Philadelphia Eagles thought Vince Young had the experience and talent to fill in for Michael Vick if needed. Yet Eagles fans like myself regretted that decision before Young even took the field, due to an ill-advised "Dream Team" comment just 12 months ago. Now after a year of infamy and another step back for his once promising career, Young is now trying to start over again with the Buffalo Bills.
On the field, Young is once again reduced to being a backup, hoping that if the time comes, he'll replace Ryan Fitzpatrick a lot better than he filled in for Vick. So far in the preseason, he hasn't taken too many missteps, as he went eight-for-14 with no turnovers - but no touchdowns and no rushing attempts - against the Minnesota Vikings on Aug. 17.
Off the field, things are a bit more troubling, as Young is alleged to owe $1.7 million after deflating on a high-risk loan. His lawyer denied the report on Aug. 17, saying the quarterback never knew that his former financial adviser made the loan with Pro Player Funding.
If it's not one thing, it's another for Young as his glory days keep fading away. After one of the great displays in college football history at the 2005 BCS title game, and after being given the keys to the kingdom for the Tennessee Titans, Young has tumbled into obscurity. In fact, whenever he has made headlines, it hasn't been for the right reasons on or off the field, as the Eagles saw last season.
It was one thing for Young to put an infamous bulls-eye on Philadelphia's back before 2011 started. Then when he finally stepped in for Vick in midseason, there wasn't much he could do except put the final nails into the Eagles' coffin. As such, he went from being on a potential Dream Team to being the backup for a Buffalo franchise that hasn't been a winner in this millennium.
All he can do is try to improve on the field and get ready should his next chance come. But the number of chances he has are running out, which is why he's been reduced to backing up in Buffalo to begin with. If Young wants to be a starter for a winning team again, his window of opportunity is closing.
At this point, Young has become a journeyman backup, which is not what he seemed destined to be seven years ago or even a few years ago. Philadelphia offered him a real chance for redemption after he drove himself out of Tennessee, but he merely dug himself into a deeper hole and fell into Buffalo as a result.
With his finances now in question and his on-field future in doubt, this would be a good time for the old Young to explode just once more. Of course, if he managed to do it after leaving the Eagles, it would make the 2011 season all the more of a cruel joke to Philadelphia.
Robert Dougherty is a life-long Philadelphia resident who has followed the Eagles since he was eight years old.
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