It was no secret that quarterback Vince Young and head coach Jeff Fisher clashed in their time together with the Tennessee Titans. Sports Illustrated's Greg Bishop details the fallout of their relationship in his profile of Vince Young for the Where Are They Now issue of the magazine.
The story describes how Young once left his ID at home before a road game during his rookie season, causing Young to be late for the team's flight. Fisher declined to hold the plane for his star quarterback. Fisher had held the plane before for other players.
"Where I'm from," Young told Fisher. "that's like saying 'F you.'"
Young also says his supposedly private conversations with Fisher in closed-door meetings would end up leaking to the media.
The incident that completely unraveled Young's relationship with Fisher came in 2008. The police were called to Young's home after his therapist informed Fisher that Young mentioned suicide. Nashville police checked on Young after hearing that he left his house with his gun.
Young says that his gun was locked in the trunk and not loaded. He was safe and just watching football with his friend and teammate, Bo Scaife, while the police were looking for the quarterback. Young reported to Titans headquarters after Fisher finally reached Young through Scaife. When they arrived, Young recalls several police officers and a crisis negotiator waiting for them. From Bishop's story:
Young sat down with the negotiator. “He’s talking all slowly,” the QB recalls, “like: ‘Mr. Young . . . are you . . . O.K.? Do you . . . feel like . . . hurting yourself?’ ”
“I’m like, Dude, quit talking to me! And I’m looking at Fisher like, You can stop all this, all the suicidal talk. He’s sitting there, saying nothing. I feel like he was just laughing at that s---. The [TV] cameraman hiding in the woods—it all felt like a big setup. And now I gotta walk through the airport as the Suicidal Guy for the rest of my life.”
Young played five seasons with the Titans and finished with a 30–17 record before being released in 2011. Fisher and the Titans agreed to part ways in 2011 following a buyout of the one remaining season on his contract.
Young told Bishop that he sent a letter apologizing to Fisher but the coach never responded.
For more on Vince Young's journey, read Bishop's entire story.