Vince Young’s Arrival Gives the Bills Options

Updated: May 12, 2012

After everyone was finished getting crunk from hearing the Mario Williams news,  some  loose general consensuses seemed to be reached. Our defense and pass rush should be way improved with the arrivals of the  Big Bad Wolf and Mahkee Mahk Ahnd-uh-son (who, due to by way of moving to Buffalo from Mass, should now be more appropriately referred to as Marrrk Ee-yanderrrsin), and the with the return of Kyle Williams, its hard to see a scenario where our historically bad defense doesn’t improve. Oh yeah, we also have a defensive coordinator who probably won’t play Spencer Johnson at outside linebacker. Combine that with the fact we (finally) have a soft schedule, it seems a winning season should be in reach, if not expected.

Even with all those positive harbingers, they all rested on one critical assumption: Ryan Fitzpatrick staying healthy. Despite the fact that we didn’t see Tyler Thigpen in any regular season action last year, most of #billsmafia seem to think that Thigpen’s awful play in the preseason last year combined with his 1-10 record as a starter are enough to derail a playoff season, and I would tend to agree.

Apparently the front office has at least some of the same concerns, or they wouldn’t have brought in the Vinsanity. One thing you have to ask yourself is who would you be more comfortable starting a game with tomorrow. Most of us would probably go for Vince Young over Thigpen at this point, so from that standpoint, the Bills probably got a little bit better.

The main argument against bringing in Vince Young is this preconceived notion that he is going to be this powder keg with the potential to derail the team when Fitz has a couple of bad games or is 2-3 etc. Sal Cappacio, who’s generally pretty solid when covering the Bills, used last year’s example of the contract situations of Fitz, Steve Johnson, and Fred Jackson as a distraction lead to the team’s collapse down the stretch. I mean, maybe, but even if that’s true, it’s miniscule compared to the fact that 6 of our best starters missed serious time last year, our defense was never really that good anyway and wound up getting exposed, and our QB had to play half of the year injured, because the coaching staff had no confidence in his backup.

Or you can look at our subject himself. Last summer Young created quite the brouhaha when he dubbed the Eagles as a “dream team”  after Philadelphia became the 2011 winner of the “Team that gets the best defensive free agent AND Vince Young” Award. Now, considering Buffalo just locked the 2012 edition up on Friday, that sounds horrifying. But if you look at Philadelphia’s season, their shortcomings had nothing to do with a stupid off the cuff remark that Vince Young made in a preseason interview. Rather, Philly had a historically bad linebacking corps who were awful enough to nullify the 28 sacks they got from Trent Cole and free agent acquisition Jason Babin. Which reminds me…

Looks at Buffalo’s current linebacking depth chart

 Sees a guy who had 7 tackles while healthy last year penciled in as a starter, backed up by a bunch of guys who were playing either defensive end or college football last year.

Doubles down on the Prozac.

But aside from eerie and foreboding similarities to Philly’s experience last season, none of those concerns have anything to do with Vince Young.

But let’s humor the idea that Vince could be a distraction for a moment. Say Bad Fitz starts the season and limps out to a 2-4 record, and everyone is clamoring for Vince to get some looks at start. If the Bills find themselves in that situation, what exactly has Fitz done to put himself above such questioning? Look solid in 2 separate half seasons?

Look, I really like the guy and hope he can stay healthy and put together a full season of quality play. But that doesn’t change the fact that he’s 17-31-1 as a starter, and like everyone else in the League, is subject to being benched if performs poorly for a long enough period. Should that happen, the Bills will be in a much better position if they have another option to start at QB, even if it comes at the cost of a little controversy.