GREEN BAY – Ted Thompson never was forced to choose. If he had, who knows how it might’ve changed the course of Green Bay Packers history.
But that’s in What-if World. The real-world news is this: Former Tennessee Titans, Philadelphia Eagles and Buffalo Bills quarterback Vince Young, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft, will work out for the Packers on Monday, a league source confirmed.
The Packers currently have Graham Harrell and B.J. Coleman as their backups behind starter Aaron Rodgers.
Twitter user Steven Wright, a Green Bay resident, posted a photo of Young arriving at Austin Straubel International Airport on Sunday night.
In 2006, both Thompson and coach Mike McCarthy, then in his first season as Packers coach, praised Young at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. Not only that, but both men refused to rule out the possibility of the team taking a quarterback at the No. 5 spot, even though iconic quarterback Brett Favre was still the team’s starter and Rodgers had been taken with the 24 th overall pick only one year earlier.
"The Portland TrailBlazers, once upon a time, decided that they had to take a big guy, and they were picking No. 2. And they took Sam Bowie instead of Michael Jordan," Thompson said. "How does history judge you with a pick like that? So I don't think you can tie yourself to a position when it comes to the draft, especially picking as high as we are."
Said McCarthy: "To sit here and say we're looking for a quarterback, I'm not saying that at all. I like Aaron Rodgers. And I'm excited to coach him. But you can't put blinders on and say, We're not looking at this position,' because that may not be the best thing for your football team. Because if there's a guy that can win football games, you've got to look at that."
Thompson would refer again to the TrailBlazers’ fateful decision to pass on arguably the greatest player in NBA history in the 1984 Draft because they needed a big man, not a guard/forward, after Young’s on-campus workout at Texas a few weeks later.
"I'll go back to the Sam Bowie situation," Thompson said after Young's workout. "If you have a chance to get Michael Jordan, you get Michael Jordan."
As it turned out, Young went two picks before the Packers went on the clock and took A.J. Hawk. Thompson claimed after the Hawk selection that he was serious about being willing to take Young.
"I wasn't kidding with you guys," Thompson said. "As it turns out, we felt like adding everything together, we took the best football player that was on the board at the time. That's what we felt like."
Young went to Tennessee at No. 3, but Thompson did have the other two of the so-called "Big Three" quarterbacks -- Southern Cal's Matt Leinart and Vanderbilt's Jay Cutler -- to choose from at No. 5.
Asked if the quarterback he liked was already gone, Thompson smiled.
"There was one that was already gone that we liked, yeah," he said. "But I'm no quarterback guru."
Young, of course, has hardly been the Michael Jordan of quarterbacks. The 30-year-old spent five up-and-down seasons with the Titans before spending a year in Philadelphia backing up Michael Vick. In
50 career starts, he is 31-19 as a starter and has completed 755 of 1,304 passes (57.9 percent) for 8,964 yards with 46 touchdowns and 51 interceptions (74.4 passer rating). He also has 282 career carries for 1,459 yards (5.2-yard average) and 12 touchdowns.
Young signed with the Buffalo Bills last season but was released Aug. 27 after the team acquired Tarvaris Jackson from the Seattle Seahawks. He then spent the year out of football.
Return to: Jason Wilde Blog