Don’t call it a comeback: Vince Young faces slew of challenges in CFL

Quarterback Vince Young and his agent, Leigh Steinberg, deftly sidestepped queries Thursday about whether there were NFL teams interested in having the 33-year-old resume his playing career. They instead insisted Young was focusing solely on his “opportunity” with the CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders and not worrying about returning to American football, where he last played in 2011.

“This (CFL) is scaleable,” Steinberg said following a media conference at Mosaic Stadium, where the Roughriders announced Young had signed a contract for one year plus an option year. Financial details weren’t revealed.

Young won’t step immediately into the starting role. Even he understands that Canadian football is different from the game he played exceptionally well at the University of Texas and, to a lesser degree, for five seasons with the NFL’s Tennessee Titans and — after a walk-away dispute with head coach Jeff Fisher — one final season with the Philadelphia Eagles. His bio includes a DUI, an assault charge and a bankruptcy.

“I was an immature young man,” said Young. “I had people representing me not in the right way. But I don’t point the finger at them, I point it at myself. Over the past years when I haven’t been playing, I’ve had some time to restructure myself as a person.”

Young has been playing flag football, watching video with his old college team, raising a family, coaching his son, spearheading a charitable foundation and starting business ventures in Texas. He admits he’s not in game-shape and faces a steep climb to get ready:

“I need less time in the office and more time on the football field, working out and throwing passes, or whatever it takes.”

Young has joined a team that recently dealt high-priced, oft-injured veteran quarterback Darian Durant to the Montreal Alouettes and replaced him with an older free agent, Kevin Glenn, in a group that also includes journeymen Brandon Bridge, G.J. Kinne and Jake Waters.

Glenn is the favourite to be Saskatchewan’s starter for the season-opener. Young said he would be “a good teammate” but it’s not realistic to believe that, at his age, he was recruited to serve as a backup. Young has to quickly learn the nuances of the three-down, 12-man Canadian game through mini-camps and training camps, a difficult task not many American-trained quarterbacks have mastered in a matter of months.

“We have lots of good quarterbacks,” said Chris Jones, Saskatchewan’s head coach, general manager and vice-president of football operations. “It’s going to be a competition.”

Jones has been impressed with Young’s attitude since dining last month in Houston with the QB and two assistant coaches. A recent workout also left Jones gushing about Young’s arm strength, deeming him primed for a comeback.

“I wouldn’t say it’s a comeback,” said Young. “I’d say it’s an opportunity. I’m happy I get an opportunity to come full circle. Not many people get that opportunity.”

Darrell Davis

Darrell Davis

Darrell Davis has reported on the Riders for more than 20 years and was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame media wing in 2006.
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Darrell Davis
About Darrell Davis (100 Articles)
Darrell Davis has reported on the Riders for more than 20 years and was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame media wing in 2006.

24 Comments on Don’t call it a comeback: Vince Young faces slew of challenges in CFL

  1. yycstamps // March 9, 2017 at 7:05 pm //

    This wasn’t all about Young that’s for sure!.This was in fact all about Chris Jones. This should be a frightening day in Rider Nation..
    Here’s Jones getting up announcing he’s signed a big name player on what he knows will gain attention south of the border; especially places like Texas. Do you think Mr Jones woke up this morning and put on those Grey Cup rings because he was feeling nostalgic? Of course not it was purposeful as was his hand placement on the podium so they could all be seen by those big name college teams that will be watching.
    Chris Jones is about Chris Jones. This is obvious ,look at his past, loyalty is nil. This guy was packing his bags for Regina before Esks even left Edmonton for grey cup week preparations in Winnipeg .He was fined for the way he left Calgary .This guy is already looking at the next stage which is head of a big NCAA program. Vince Young and the riders are just the paper on which Jones plans to write his resume

  2. Can’t fool me – yycstamps is Stampland…nice try.

  3. Just what the CFL needs, a washed up, bankrupt felon with alcohol problems…somebody please pass me an aspirin.

    • CC Rider // March 10, 2017 at 4:15 pm //

      I hate these kinds of signings. They seldom end up benefit the league’s image. If he succeeds it’s because he’s playing in an “inferior league”. If he fails, he “couldn’t even make it in the CFL”.

      He could end up doing well and being an entertaining player but overall signing NFL washouts at the QB position rarely puts the league in a good light.

  4. I feel sooooo sorry for Kevin Glenn.

  5. Competition just got easier, Waters has resigned!

  6. Waters retired due to a serious injury he incurred on his second play from scrimmage in his first game last year that he obviously couldnt overcome. He will be a graduate assistant coach at Iowa State University. He made the choice to go to the coaching side of things. So he didnt leave because of what you call the circus. Not everything that happens in Rider Nation is evil yycstampland.

  7. Robservation // March 11, 2017 at 3:56 pm //

    Stampland, thank for all of your insightful posting, I believe that your frequency of posting on all things Riders might confirm your a closet Rider fan. After all, why wouldn’t you be, the Riders are the league’s most popular team. In 2016, in a 5 win season, the Riders led the league in home attendance at 31,327 fans per game, (Calgary the Grey Cup finalist drew 27,474), Average attendance with the Riders as visiting team was 27,054, (Calgary drew 24,361 as the visiting team). Largest attendance in 2016, Riders at Eskimos, 37,168, Largest pre-season attendance in 2016, Riders at Eskimos, 29,416. Merchandise sales equal all of the rest of the league combined, so I’m guessing you must be buying Rider gear as well.
    Keep up the good work!

    • stampland // March 11, 2017 at 6:19 pm //

      yeah since 2007 riders have had better attendance numbers than stamps (I guess finally winning after years of losing will do that)currently you average 3500 more per game then stamps but rarely sell out Mcmahon as you all like to claim.
      Interesting ,,,so you decide who to cheer for based on attendance figures?. I think most people decide based on some tie to a team like living in same city or choosing to cheer for them because a team is actually good…Thanks for enlightening me.In the future I will cheer for teams purely based on attendance figures and highest merchandise sales. Who cares if they are a winner!
      The fact is you say these things because that’s all the riders have!there is simply nothing else you can brag about. More so every other team is competing with many other things for the entertainment dollar.Its a fact!

  8. Kenneth Rogers // March 11, 2017 at 4:30 pm //

    Vince Young is an interesting platform for Chris Jones’s next move. Connect the dots – Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, and Saskatchewan. From what I have read about the new coaching group in Toronto they are start building from what’s on the current roster and then add to it. Different mindset than the boy from Tennessee. I still don’t like what he’s doing and he needs to take a long walk in a blizzard along with the president.

    • stampland // March 11, 2017 at 6:24 pm //

      blowing up team last year was understandable but the fact he’s done it again shows he’s no further ahead and at the very least proves last years choices were mistakes.Whats he done better this year..probably nothing.This purge spend purge spend is what this organization chooses to do.

  9. Robservation // March 11, 2017 at 10:40 pm //

    I also cheer for a team that’s been in the grey cup 4 times in the past 10 years and won twice, as have the Stamps. I respect the Stamp organization and Huf as a coach and GM. As a fan of the CFL, a strong league is good for all. I choose not to stoop to making untrue statements and making stuff up when I post.You should try it too Stampland.

    • stampland // March 11, 2017 at 11:15 pm //

      also..as I ask many rider fans,what have I said that’s untrue? You can argue that its only my opinion but you can’t claim it’s untrue,everything I say is a reasonable opinion if not factual,name me something to the contrary???

  10. stampland // March 11, 2017 at 11:11 pm //

    actually Calgary as been to 4 cups and won 2 in 9 years! If we were to win this year which is very very possible than that will make 5 cup appearances in 10 years with 3 wins..still better than your 10 years caparison.In your 10 period, of the years not in Cup what did you do? A lot of bad seasons in there. Lets look at a larger body of work..25 years .In that time Calgary has 9 cup appearances and 5 wins. So really , there is no comparison :). This doesn’t take into account all the fist place finishes (12)2nd place (8).So in 25 years Calgary fans have had a home playoff game 20 of 25 years. Remember 3 of those years the stamps were held captive by a ownership group with very selfish intentions so if you take that out its even more amazing. How many first or second places have to had in 25 years? Talk to me about this again when Riders achieve this kind consistency.
    Is this an untrue statement?

  11. Too long of a statement and too many stats and figures. You make some good points but please, Readers Digest version….blah blah blah

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