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Will Vince Young Endure A Sophomore Slump?

Speaking of our boy VY, the biggest question he's facing (outside Austin) is: Will there be a sophomore slump?

It probably depends on how the term is defined. If the question is being asked as a measure of how many games the Titans will win, then I'd say it's more probable than possible that Vince will skid out a bit this season. The Titans management did nothing to help Young during the offseason, allowing btoh Drew Bennett and Chris Henry to leave, while adding nothing in the way of skill position help. (As disappointing as that is, given last year's free agent pool, I can see the sanity in letting Vince develop another year and making a big splash in '08.)

I have no doubt, however, that Young himself will continue to improve. We may not see the Big Leap forward until year three or four with Vince Young, but he had a remarkably successful rookie debut - becoming the league's first-ever rookie to make the Pro Bowl - and has proven himself a competitor with an insatiable appetite for improvement.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the questions posed by Vince Young's critics following his rookie season are almost identical to the ones Longhorn fans heard back when I first started blogging the Longhorns during Vince's sophomore season. "Okay, he can run, but he'll never be an elite quarterback until he can improve that passing ability."

We all know how that story ended after his junior year, and I'm in the camp of believers who harbor no doubt whatsoever that Vince will eventually be one of the game's all-time greats at the position. He's got the physical ability, the mental makeup, the intelligence, and the desire to work harder than everyone else. Guys like that achieve their goals nine times out of ten, and I don't doubt Vince will be one of 'em.

As for Vince's sophomore season, I'm not the only one who expects improvement in those passing numbers. Bill Barnwell of Football Outsiders was recently the host of an online chat at Baseball Prospectus, in which he teased readers about FO's new player projection system:

FO Fan (USA): Sneek peek: what are the big surprises coming out of KUBIAK this year?

Bill Barnwell: Let's say a certain shifty, tall quarterback out of Texas gets projected to do big things for fantasy teams this year.

Despite what his critics would have you believe, Vince Young is on the track to NFL greatness. It's practically inevitable.