When one watches quarterback Vince Young sling the ball in practice with his unorthodox shotput-style quick release, it's fair to assume that quarterback gurus Andy Reid and Marty Mornhinweg are going to break him down and build him back up the way they did with Michael Vick.
Not so fast.
Reid brushes aside any notion of tinkering with the arm mechanics simply because at 6-5, 232 pounds, Young towers over most of the players on the field. The only upper body change that Reid has Young work on is keeping his shoulders down when he throws.
"He's so stinkin' big, I don't worry about that," Reid said. "He's wired like a linebacker. This guy is tough and competitive. He is a competitive son-of-a-gun. I love it. Does he have everything down? No. He's got a pretty good grasp of what's going on. And what we're asking him to do, this is like learning French in a couple of days."
It's the footwork that Young has to work on the most. As Reid explains it, Young has to improve the platform that he uses as his base to throw the ball. What makes the Eagles offense even more complex for a quarterback is that there are different variations of, for example, a three-step drop pending on what routes are being run. A particular route might call for the first step to be a quick step or a longer stride. Reid is overall very pleased with Young's progress.
"He's very hard on himself. He is demanding. He wants to make sure that he's got it down," Reid said. "He's working through all of that. It's kind of fun to watch. I love his attitude."
Young, however, knows that there is room for improvement.
"Coaches are satisfied, but I know I can do better," Young said.
After signing a one-year deal with the Eagles, Young has only been able to practice with the team for three days. He is already working with the number two offense. As Young crams to learn the offense, he has to also direct a number of young players on the field. Young isn't fazed by the challenge. He knows he must take care of his business first and foremost.
"I've done it before, so I'm pretty much used to it. But at the same time, I have to make sure I'm on my thing," Young said. "That's the first thing quarterbacks have to do. It's just part of being a quarterback period. Overall, I feel like I can handle that challenge."
The No. 3 overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft, Young started 47 games for the Tennessee Titans and won 30 of those contests. On Thursday, he will run out of the tunnel at Lincoln Financial Field in an Eagles uniform for the first time when the team kicks off its preseason slate against Baltimore (7:30 PM, 6abc locally). It remains to be seen how much of a role Young will have, but nonetheless he is not getting caught up in the moment.
"I'm a little bit older in the game now. I've played a lot of games in the NFL already," Young said. "Everybody keeps forgetting that this is my sixth year. I've been out there. I've been doing these things. I'm just going to go out and take care of my responsibilities."
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