Kenny wrote a fascinating piece last November questioning the (lack of) investment that teams and organizations from the high school level to the pros put into black quarterbacks. In football, you see many black quarterbacks who have speed and an arm succeed, yet can't put it together at the highest level.
So when I heard that the college legend and mercurial spirit that is Vince Young has become a member of the Philadelphia Eagles, my eyebrow went up and my interest was suddenly piqued.
The position of quarterback is kind of like being a pitcher in baseball. In the early phases of the game, the kid usually can only throw the hardest pitches. It's only when the pitcher fine-tunes his mechanics, learns a few pitches, and gains mastery of his craft is when he can become elite. For Andy Reid, aka The Oracle (I'll explain this later), one could ask if his focus on bringing in quarterbacks like McNabb, Vick, and now Young is intentional. His ability to break down quarterbacks and build them back up has been fascinating to watch since he got there.
Things didn't seem so opportune for "new-age" quarterbacks back in 2008, as William C. Rhoden eloquently stated after Vince got benched for Kerry Collins:
"Young’s benching is the end, for now at least, of new-age quarterbacks on the brink of redefining of the quarterback position. With Michael Vick behind bars, Young on the bench and Donovan McNabb morphed more or less into a pocket passer, the league’s quarterback pool has reverted to the statue-like signal-callers who hang tough in the pocket, protected by rules designed to keeping defensive linemen and linebackers at bay."
For some reason I'd like to think Reid has a subscription to the New York Times and read this article. To challenge the status quo and put his foot in the ground, to say that I can make these physically gifted quarterbacks work. Maybe its the reason Reid he decided to move on from the Kevin Kolb experience; the thought being that Kolb couldn't play the position to the fullest in the eyes of Reid.
As for Vince Young, that 30-17 record and an ability to be clutch are overshadowed by tales that were thought to eventually lead to his demise. From his perceived lack of desire to study his playbook, to his rocky relationship with Jeff Fisher, fighting in the strip club, to him even being suicidal, most of Vince Young's hardship has been self-afflicted. We can't forget that moment in time when Vince put the team on his back and won the biggest game in college football. We can't forget when Vince won Rookie of the Year. We can't forget Vince bringing Tennessee back from the depths of hell at 0-6 and nearly getting in the playoffs. Those memories are etched in stone.
If Andy Reid can take Vince Young and make him the quarterback we all thought he could be, then Reid will really be The Oracle. In The Matrix, The Oracle possesses the power of foresight, which she uses to advise and guide the humans attempting to fight the Matrix's system. Sure, she liked to bake cookies and smoke cigarettes (something I would bet Reid does both of in his spare time), but in actuality, she was a program designed to investigate the human psyche. Reid's attempt with Young is the ultimate test, and if it works, he'll have Eagles fans caught up in the Matrix.