Broncos Crowder Can't Wait To Hit Vince Young

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Broncos rookie defensive lineman Tim Crowder wasn't allowed to so much as breathe on Vince Young in their college days at Texas.

Finally, the no-touch edict has been removed. Crowder gets his chance to deliver a hit on the Tennessee Titans quarterback.

That is, if he can catch up to him.

"Vince is a Superman who doesn't need a phone booth," Crowder said of his former Longhorns teammate. "He's really good. He is so effortless when he makes plays."

Young has the Denver defense on edge. The Broncos have been struggling with the run all season, giving up 151 yards a game, and now they face a mobile quarterback Monday night.

"Vince is a very talented quarterback," Denver defensive boss Jim Bates said. "He's definitely a threat every time the ball is snapped."

Young has rushed for 217 yards and two touchdowns this season. He's also coming off a game in which he threw for a career-high 257 yards in a loss to Jacksonville last Sunday.

"We always have to be aware of him," Bates said. "He can make things happen."

Denver's plan is simple: keep him in the pocket. The Broncos don't want to see him rolling out.

"He's one of the best quarterbacks going once he starts running," Broncos defensive lineman Sam Adams said. "But he doesn't have to just run to make plays. He's making plays with his arm, too."

Dre' Bly thinks a spy is definitely in order for Young. That way, he's accounted for at all times.

"Everything they do starts with Vince, and for us to be successful we have to keep Vince contained," Bly said. "He poses a threat throwing the football, running the football and we have our work cut out for us. This is a team you need to worry about."

Champ Bailey has heard the comparisons: Young is a clone of Michael Vick. Yet from what Bailey has seen on film, he doesn't totally buy into that line of thinking.

"Vick was definitely one of a kind, but he (Young) is just as effective. Vince can throw better," Bailey said. "We'll see. I haven't seen him in person yet."

Broncos rookie running back Selvin Young counts the Titans quarterback as one of his best friends. He said they've chatted a lot about the game, but no trash talk.

"We try not to push any buttons," said Selvin Young, who also went to Texas, and threw the block to spring Vince Young for the winning touchdown against USC in the Rose Bowl, securing the Longhorns' BCS national championship. "We're both very competitive people."

So competitive, in fact, they keep extra controllers around for when they play games on PlayStation.

"Because one's going to get broken," Selvin Young said with a grin. "Vince is a fighter. It may not look pretty, but he's got one common theme that I have -- get the job done. That's the type of person we're facing."

That's the type of quarterback Titans coach Jeff Fisher wants in charge of the team. Vince Young is 13-8 as the Titans' starting quarterback.

"He does not like losing," Fisher said. "He's very, very competitive. He's found ways to win for us."

Crowder is hoping for just one solid hit on Young. Nothing mean or malicious on his good friend, just a clean tackle.

That would make up for all the times he had Young in his sights during practices at Texas, only to peel off at the last moment. It was either that or face the wrath of Longhorns coach Mack Brown, who outlawed hits on his prized quarterback.

"We would've got kicked off the team if we would've touched him," Crowder said with a laugh. "I know his moves, but it's different when you're playing someone in a game. I always told him in practice (at Texas) that I wished I could play him in a game. Now, I get that chance."


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