Young soaking it in like a sponge under Vick, Eagles
It was a rare scene in the Eagles’ locker room.
There was Michael Vick slinking into his stall, almost invisible, while throwing on a stocking cap. To his right, there was Vince Young. The backup quarterback was the one surrounded by all the cameras following the Eagles’ 13-6 win over Baltimore.
Vick told “Vin” he would call him later and vanished. Young stuck around to the bitter end, answering every question fired at him.
Vick, of course, is Superman on this team. He needed just eight plays Thursday night to stake the Eagles to a 7-0 lead. Vick finished 4-of-6 for 74 yards, including a 3-yard TD toss to Brent Celek, before giving way to Young late in the first quarter.
Young, meanwhile, is the wild card on a squad he dubbed, “The Dream Team.” He seemed comfortable, confident, even at peace. When the TV cameras panned to him sitting on the sideline in the second half, he had a huge smile planted on his face.
“I’m just happy to be here, happy to be playing, happy for the opportunity,” Young said. “The one thing I can say is I love playing football.”
On the field, Young was good on a handful of drives. Not great, but good.
Young finished 3-of-5 for 45 yards, with his first drive resulting in a field goal. He also busted loose for a six-yard scramble that was freelanced after his pocket collapsed.
“He has a great attitude, and you saw that he loves to play,” coach Andy Reid said. “He will do nothing but get better with more practice.”
But if Young missed being an NFL starter, he wouldn’t say it.
“No. I just gotta stay ready. You never know when your number is getting called,” Young said. “I want to push Mike [Vick] to be the best he can be to lead his team to a Super Bowl. You saw that tonight.”
Young has been erratic two weeks into training camp, struggling to learn Reid’s West Coast system. The coach said it’s like “trying to learn French in four days.” But Young has been putting in the extra time — on and off the field.
“It’s a clutter. It’s definitely a clutter when it’s something new,” Young said. “It’s about getting extra hours, getting extra meetings in, studying my book, asking questions to Mike Vick … just making sure I’m doing the right things, saying the right things, trying to get the flow of things, that’s what it’s all about.”
Young said the hardest thing has been learning the new terminology and verbiage. And his mentor, by default and by choice, agrees.
“This offense is very sophisticated … it’s not easy,” Vick said. “It takes a lot studying. It takes time but, in the grand scheme of things, he did well.”
Young insists he can thrive in this offense. That’s something he never got to fully do in Tennessee, under a coach with whom he frequently feuded. After Thursday’s game, Young had plenty of opportunities to slam his former coaching staff.
He never did. Instead, he credited his new one, from Reid to offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg to quarterbacks coach Doug Pedersen. Apparently, Young is also maturing as a person.
“I’m old. I’m 28 years old and I’m just growing into my age,” Young said. “I’m happy to be an Eagle.”