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At just 31-years-old and after just six NFL seasons, the No. 3 pick in the 2006 NFL draft and subsequent Offensive Rookie of the Year and two-time Pro Bowler announced his retirement on Saturday amid as much bitterness as fanfare.
And the former Texas star blames one-time Tennessee Titans coach Fisher for his premature departure and he seems to want everyone to know it.
“I had my ups and downs,” a reflective Young told reporters. “I made the mistake of getting in to it with my coach and that kind of hurt me a whole lot. When you go to different teams, they already have a bad perception of you. When that’s out there, there’s nothing you can do. That’s what everyone else focuses on, I don’t focus on that. I’m very happy and thankful for living the dream I had as a kid.”
But Young can’t seem to take his mind off Fisher and the dysfunctional relationship the two of them soldiered through during their brief but everlasting five-year run together in Tennessee.
Young can’t forget it was the well-documented, master media-manipulator Fisher who called the police back in 2008 to essentially put out a missing persons/suicide alert for the star quarterback during a rough patch in the season, a stigma Young eventually found as hard to shake as a Super Bowl shuffling Chicago Bears pass rush.
“I asked Fisher, ‘what made her [Young’s therapist] worry about him?'” Lt. Andrea Swisher wrote back then. “He stated, ‘his mood, his emotions, he wants to quit, and he mentioned suicide several times.’ He went on to state that Young left the house with a gun.”
Unstable and easily rattled. Not exactly attributes any team looks for in its next signal-caller. But Fisher laid them all out there for all to ponder whenever they sought to evaluate Young.
Perhaps, that’s why when after the 2010 season when quarterbacks were going down at a historic rate, teams elected to ring-up the 44-year-old Brett Favre to gauge interest about a potential comeback over the still then twenty something Young, he of the more than respectable 31-19 record as a starting quarterback.
“Me and my wife and all my peers and fans, we’re all trying to figure this stuff out,” Young recently told reporters of his thoughts back then. Since leaving Tennessee, he’s played a season in Philadelphia and had tryouts with the Buffalo Bills, Green Bay Packers and Cleveland Browns, but nothing has stuck.
“I don’t have the slightest idea,” Young said of the cause of his hard luck. “It’s like a huge question mark over my head every day I wake up in the morning to take care of my responsibilities and know I should be playing. To not have one of those calls, it’s tough.”
And now Young is convinced the answer might lie in Jeff Fisher’s actions.
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