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Vince Young Benched for Rusty Smith, Clashes with Jeff Fisher in Locker Room

It appears as if Vince Young’s tumultuous run in Tennessee may finally be coming to an end. Either that, or Jeff Fisher may be gone, because the two had a serious clash on Sunday. Young left Tennesse’s game against the Redskins in the third quarter after hurting his thumb on a throw. VY was replaced by third string option Rusty Smith, a rookie out of Florida Atlantic, who saw the first action of his career. Despite Young’s efforts working with the trainers to re-enter the game, Fisher stuck with Smith for the rest of the game. Young was 12/16 for 165 yards in the game while Smith went 3/9 for 62 yards and an interception. The benching resulted in a series of conflicts involving Vince Young. Let’s let The Tennessean explain everything:

After the game Young tossed his shoulder pads into the stands as he left the field, setting off a chain of events in the locker room.

As Fisher gathered the team, Young uttered expletives under his breath as he was getting dressed, according to the source.

Young then headed for the locker room door. Fisher told him not to walk out on his teammates. Young responded that he was not walking out on his teammates, but was walking out on Fisher, according to the source.

Fisher never seemed to be satisfied with Young who reportedly does not work hard enough on his craft. Even when the team started 0-6 last season, it was Titans owner Bud Adams who demanded the change at quarterback from Kerry Collins to Vince Young. In all likelihood, Young probably lost his coach years ago because of crap like this, this, and this. Fisher has said that injury or not, Vince Young won’t be the team’s starting quarterback. Now that he’s spoken, here’s your chance: will both Fisher and Young be back next season? If not, which one will be gone?

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Frederick Breedon

Jeff Fisher: Titans Ran Up Score After ESPN Requested More TV Timeouts

Many football fans probably missed the end of the Jags-Titans game on Monday night. First off, the game was a total dud because Jacksonville failed to show up. Matters weren’t helped when each team’s starting quarterback got hurt, leaving us with the delightful Trent Edwards-Kerry Collins struggle (first to two field goals wins!). Once things got to 20-0 in the third quarter, fans probably switched over to TBS to watch Cliff Lee and the Rangers against the Yankees in Game 3 of the ALCS. I kept checking back with the football game, but I missed the very end when Chris Johnson scored a touchdown to make it 30-3 in the final two minutes. I was shocked to see that he had scored that TD, and now I realize it’s become a controversy.

Pro Football Talk’s Gregg Rosenthal pointed out via the Titans Insider that Titans coach Jeff Fisher says he only ran the ball late because ESPN had asked the coaches to call timeouts so the network could air more commercials. Going back over the boxscore, it’s quite curious that Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio called timeouts after two Chris Johnson runs inside the two minute warning. Why would a coach down 20 points with two minutes left begin burning timeouts?

Fisher explained it after the game, “My understanding is they needed network timeouts, and that’s why Jack used his timeouts. They came over and asked me to do it, but I said, ‘I was hoping to get a first down and kneel on it.'”

Had Del Rio not called the two timeouts, the Titans likely would have been able to kneel on the ball and run out the clock. Instead, they poured on the extra touchdown, helping out Chris Johnson fantasy owners in the process. Sports by Brooks says ESPN is denying the claim, but what would you expect them to say? Why would a league like to have the impression that TV controls its product, even if we all already know that’s the case?

The only logical explanation for why Del Rio took the extra timeouts was to see if his team could get the ball back to give Trent Edwards some more game experience with his new team. Now that is semi-plausible.

UPDATE: It appears as if Jeff Fisher was just making a joke.

Photo Credit: J. Meric/Getty Images

Chris Johnson Pranked by Jeff Fisher

Anyone who follows LBS knows that NFL training camp is a time for pranks, especially when it comes to rookie hazing. We know Pete Carroll loves messing around with his players, but who knew Jeff Fisher did too? Check out what happened with Fisher and star running back Chris Johnson. As C.J. tweeted via Sports by Brooks Live, Fisher apparently moved Johnson’s car into the team’s practice bubble. Here’s the pic Johnson shared:

Johnson says they opened up a can of worms. I’m sure he can do much better than that. That’s pretty weak when it comes to pranks. At least it’s more considerate than filling the car with popcorn, I have to say.

Sources:
SbB Live
Chris Johnson on Twitter

Steve Spagnuolo Pissed at Jeff Fisher for Running up the Score

Seems like we come across a “running up the score” issue each week when it comes to football. In week 14, it was the Titans and Rams that had a problem. St. Louis was getting smashed by Tennessee the entire game. The Rams had zero offense (which is to be expected when you’re starting Keith Null at quarterback) and they were lucky to be trailing just 23-0 at halftime. Midway through the fourth quarter, Tennessee was up 33-7 and they had the ball at the one-yard line in a 4th and goal situation. Rather than “run up the score,” you figure the Titans would just take the field goal and keep from further embarrassing the helpless Rams. At least that’s what Steve Spagnuolo thought. Titans coach Jeff Fisher had a different idea:

We settled for (field goals) early and we needed to learn to score touchdowns, and if they were unhappy with it — they faked a punt when they were down by 30. I wasn’t doing anything from a personal standpoint. I was trying to score points and coach a football team.”

Fisher’s point about the Rams running the fake punt is valid. If the Rams are doing everything possible to keep competing, why should Tennessee show mercy? To whom do they have that obligation? Maybe I was upset at the time of the call because I have Rob Bironas as my fantasy kicker and I was hoping he could pad his stats, but looking at it, Spagnuolo should not have been offended by Fisher’s decision. If he had his team better prepared, they wouldn’t be in that situation anyway. Once Marc Bulger went down, the Rams began challenging for the worst team in the NFL title.

Jeff Fisher Would Wear Colts Peyton Manning Jersey Again

Titans coach Jeff Fisher has created a controversy by wearing a Peyton Manning Colts jersey under his suit at a charity function on Tuesday. Fisher even had a line set up where he said he wanted to feel like a winner, taking a jab at his team’s 0-6 record. Fisher doesn’t think he did anything wrong saying he would do it again because it was for a worthwhile charity. While I believe that part, his actions and joke sends the wrong message to his players, fans, and organization. Here’s the video of Fisher wearing the Peyton Manning jersey:

Here was Fisher’s explanation after taking heat for the incident:

“It was for a very, very worthwhile cause, charity,” Fisher said. “I was introducing Tony, just having fun with it and I really apologize if I offended anybody, but if you’re offended over the nature of that type of thing, then I think you need to rethink things.

“This is a very worthwhile and needy benefit and I was honored to be there. … I’m sorry if I offended anybody but if I had to do it again, I would do it again.”

There are plenty of other ways to “have fun with it,” and Jeff should know better. While I’m not offended by it, I’m not a dedicated Titans fan who is being asked to pay a lot of money to support the team only to see the coach joke about it. Just a bad decision even if it didn’t have poor intentions.