On Sunday, Vince Young will be making the second professional start of his career. He had a rocky first start last weekend against Dallas, but showed signs of a playmaker, especially with his running skills and elusiveness. It will take awhile before Young is totally comfortable in the pocket. Nonetheless, his feet are his greatest asset.
In his final year at Texas, Young topped the 1,000 yard rushing mark, finishing with 1,050 yards and 12 touchdowns. As the Titans quarterback, he's opted to tuck the ball and run on 10 occasions so far. With Young in there behind the center, the threat that he might keep the ball and take off is always present. Because of that fact, opposing teams have to gameplan differently for him than many other quarterbacks, or the previous starter, veteran Kerry Collins.
In college, Texas simplified the playbook and didn't ask Young to beat teams through the air. Titans offensive coordinator Norm Chow has made some similar adaptations to Tennessee's offense when Young is at the helm.
When in trouble, or if he feels slightest sign of pressure, Young's first reaction is to take off and run. So one way the Indianapolis Colts may deal with that is by having MLB Gary Brackett "spy" the fleet-footed QB. The Colts defense really has not had to do much of that in recent years, so it's going to be fun to watch as they attempt to frustrate Young's desire to move the chains by using his feet instead of his arm.
Given the speed of the Colts defensive unit, especially the linebackers, I imagine they're looking forward to the challenge Young presents. LB Gary Brackett has the sideline-to-sideline speed necessary to keep a mobile QB like Young in his sights. But if Brackett has to take on too many blockers in his pursuit of a scrambling Young, the Titans rookie could cause problems. Although Brackett can show a good initial pop taking on blockers, speed is his strength -- not shedding blockers.
It's important that the "spy" stay disciplined in his positioning and read his keys properly. Getting too far upfield or misdiagnosing a play could be the difference between a 5-yard run and a demoralizing 25-yard gain. Brackett is an intense, hardworking LB who plays with tremendous passion. But he is more quick than he is fast, so he doesn't want to get in a foot race with Young or have to chase him from behind.
With so much focus on speed and a linebacking corps with excellent sideline-to-sideline quickness, Indianapolis matches up well on paper against mobile quarterbacks. Still, this has the makings of a terrific battle. Vince Young and his mobility are something the Colts must get used to dealing with as he's the Titans' quarterback of the future. Another scrambling Titans QB named Steve McNair gave Colts teams all kinds of fits in the early years of the AFC South. Vince Young wants to become that kind of nuisance. On Sunday, he'll get his first chance against a Colts defense that will be looking to send the proper message that will keep the rookie in his place for the foreseeable future.
Colts Key Matchup: Brackett vs Young
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