Merrill Hoge has been one of Vince Young's biggest critics ever since Young was getting ready for the 2006 NFL draft. While he's not saying I told you so, Hoge isn't exactly pulling back from any of his criticism now that Young is planted on the Titans' bench. In fact, he's piling on in an interview with Pittsburgh radio station WDVE.
"He's a baby. He's a soft baby. He's been a baby since they .... I stumbled across people who recruited him in college. They really tried to get him to go to Oklahoma. One of reasons they stopped their recruiting process was because he was such a baby . . . He was the most immature crybaby they ever met. He was soft; he wasn't tough."
Hoge then said that his Titans teammates are happy to see him benched. And in the process he basically sold out his friends at NFL Films--who are the ones who put microphones on players. Hoge heads into the NFL Films offices every week for his work on the State Farm NFL Matchup show. While he said he couldn't say how he knew this because it would violate confidences, it's pretty clear what's the source of this information.
"On the sideline the players were talking about what was going on--people are mic'ed. Players defensively were talking when he threw the second pick. They were saying 'that guy comes out and points to the crowd, when things are going great he's right out in front. But when it goes bad he's nowhere to be found'. Then he gets hurt the next series and they turn to each other and say 'We now have a chance to win this game and be a better team.' "
Hoge also said that Jeff Fisher told him before the 2006 draft that he was completely against drafting Young, and that he threatened to bring the University of Texas' offense to the Titans if they drafted him because he couldn't run an NFL offense.
"There are three things he doesn't have, well four now because he's not mentally tough. 1) He wasn't accurate. 2) He throws with zero anticipation and 3) he has no clue what he's looking at," Hoge said.
Hoge said that he expects to see Young and Matt Leinart (who he also called soft) will be cut at the end of the season. Fisher disputed that Vince Young rode a limo from his house to the Titans training facilities and he says he didn't tell Hoge he didn't want to draft Young. He didn't specifically address any of the other comments, although he tried to blanket them all together as bogus.
But considering the evidence out there, and Hoge's long-running arguments against Young as an NFL quarterback stretching back to before when he was drafted, it's hard to think that there isn't something to what he's saying.
H/T: Pro Football Talk