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Just The Sports: I Watched The Film

Just The Sports

Saturday, April 01, 2006

I Watched The Film

Ian O'Connor is up in arms about the fact scouts may go by an intelligence test to determine whether or not to draft quarterback Vince Young, formerly of the Texas Longhorns. In the article, he dares to readers to forget about the test and watch the film of Vince. Well, I have, so me and Ian are about to go toe-to-toe on this issue.

Take another look at them and tell me with a straight face that Young shouldn't be the first quarterback taken in next month's draft.

Straight face: Young shouldn't be the first quarterback taken in next month's draft. But he should be the second so it's not like it's that big a difference. I'm not really sure why you are even arguing this point.

So now Young's one-man demolition of the Trojan empire in the Rose Bowl doesn't count, right? His one-man demolition of Michigan in the previous Rose Bowl can be scrapped as well, no?

Both of those games can count, but those are only two games Vince started out of thirty-two, which constitutes a whopping 6% of Vince's collegiate career. You can't really be serious about using just those two games to make an argument about why Vince should be the first quarterback taken in the draft. And if you are serious, then I'm sure if I tried hard enough, I could find two games where Vince played horribly. Does that mean he shouldn't be drafted at all? Maybe once you learn the meaning of the term sample size you can come up with a better foundation for your argument.

Also, Young did not demolish this so-called Trojan empire. The empire was built on the great offensive talent USC had and had nothing to do with their defense. Before the game, there was general agreement among those who cover sports for a living that if there was any weakness about USC, it was their defense with its questionable secondary and linebackers who were for the most part all underclassmen.

The same goes for the Michigan defense he is reported to have demolished. It wasn't a Michigan powerhouse team from the mid-90s, but a team that has eroded slowly over the years to become a shell of their former selves. Not to take anything away from Vince's performance, but there weren't many NFL-caliber players on the team he beat in 2004.

Compare to that Matt Leinart who essentially picked apart Texas's defense with surgical precision. It was a Texas defense which was mostly upperclassmen-laden and had players who could conceivably go on to have productive NFL careers, whereas the jury is still out on how good USC's defensive players will end up being. The jury is not out, though, on the fact that Texas's defense was vastly superior to USC's.

We're all supposed to forget everything our eyes, brain, gut and heart tell us about Young as an NFL prospect — and remember that he scored a six out of a possible 50 on a test with a name that sounds more like the title of an adult film.

He scored a five on the first try and then a seventeen when he was allowed to re-take the exact same test, but that's not the important thing. The important thing is the fact you are so quick to discount the Wonderlic results in order to prove your point. For those who don't know, the Wonderlic test is given to potential draftees in order to gauge their reasoning skills and ability to learn. In other words, it's an IQ test for dummies. A test on which Young only answered two-thirds of the questions and only got half of those right.

For a potential NFL quarterback to score so badly on a test that measures his ability to learn and reason is not a good sign of how well he will be able to comprehend an NFL playbook. Quarterback is the main position where a player has to be able to think and think quickly. During a game, he will be asked to recognize what defense the opponents are in, who is blitzing, who is not blitzing, and which one of his receivers will be open. Oh, and he has to do all this while backpedaling, something Vince hasn't been asked to do since he played mainly in the shotgun formation.

Another fact that should set off alarm bells is that Mack Brown admitted to the media that Vince Young got better the less they coached him. What I take this to mean is that Young was unable to process this extra information, probably because it confused him, and relied solely on his athletic ability. That's not going to work in the NFL over a long period. Just ask Michael Vick.

He was a better passer than the 2004 Heisman winner, Leinart, and a better runner than the 2005 Heisman winner, Reggie Bush.

Now you're just being ridiculous, Ian. Let's take a moment to compare Leinart's and Young's final 2005 passing statistics. Young and Leinart's completion percentages were nearly identical (65.2% to 65.7%), Leinart threw for two more touchdown passes than Young, Young threw two more interceptions, and Leinart threw for close to 800 more yards than Young did. Oh yeah, Young is a way better passer than Leinart.

As far as Reggie Bush goes, he is a once-in-a-generation running back. He has speed, elusiveness, and receiving skills that set him apart from any other runner in college football, including Vince Young.

Would I have preferred a Wonderlic score of 20 for Young, a score that represents average intelligence? Sure.

So you want an NFL quarterback with below-average intelligence? And you're not an NFL scout yet, why?

Scouts love Leinart's accuracy, but Young walked into the Rose Bowl with a better passing efficiency rating and an extra 816 rushing yards on his 2005 resume.

Since Leinart passed for 779 more yards than Young, the difference between their two seasons is really only 37 yards.

At a time when pass rushers are faster than safeties, quarterbacks who can move are at a premium.

Peyton Manning, Carson Palmer, Tom Brady, and Drew Brees aren't impressively mobile quarterbacks and they seem to be doing just fine. All a quarterback has to be in the NFL is mobile enough.

I'd also like to see the team where pass rushers are faster than safeties. They probably aren't winning a lot of games.

Vince Young only runs right. The fact I know that means NFL defensive coordinators know that, too.


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