NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Vince Young has gotten very serious about his NFL career.
He has just switched from agent Major Adams, the family friend who negotiated his current six-year, $58 million contract, to Tom Condon, whose client list includes Peyton and Eli Manning and LaDanian Tomlinson. The timing is perfect because Young has two years left on his current deal.
Young said Thursday he researched the move with help from his girlfriend and people he called experts close to him. He also talked to another quarterback from the class of 2006, Matt Leinart, and heard nothing but appreciation for what Condon provides.
"To finish my legacy and my career with, I just had to make a decision on my own. It's something I had to do for VY only," Young said.
On paper, Young can be considered easily is the most successful of the three quarterbacks drafted among the first 11 picks of 2006 if gauged by his 26-13 record as a starter. He also led the Titans to the 2007 playoffs and came up a game short of improbable playoff berths when coming off the bench as a rookie and again in 2009 after winless starts by the team.
But Young, the No. 3 pick overall in 2006, remains a quarterback with a lot left to prove despite the Titans paying his $4.25 million bonus in March with $7.5 million due in salary for 2010.
Young was a backup a year ago at this time to veteran Kerry Collins, a guy who got his job back because owner Bud Adams gave it to him after an 0-6 start. Young helped the Titans rebound with eight wins in the final 10 games, but now the quarterback must show consistency and improvement in his fifth NFL season.
Fullback Ahmard Hall played with Young in college at Texas and was happy to see the quarterback make the change in agents.
"Tom Condon is a great guy. He's had some of the best athletes in sports period, and I think that's a great move for Vince to enable him to take his career to the next level. I was so happy. When I see him do that, he's maturing as a man. He's taking that next step in his career, and he's developing a team around him that's going to enable him to do it better," Hall said.
Young started the final 10 games of 2009, and his 82.8 passer rating easily is the best of his first four seasons. He threw for 1,879 yards with 10 touchdowns and seven interceptions.
His best game yet as a passer came Nov. 29 rallying the Titans to a 20-17 victory over Arizona. He drove them 99 yards in the final 2 minutes, 37 seconds before finding Kenny Britt in the back of the end zone with the game-winning TD pass. Young finished with a career-best 387 yards passing.
With Young starting, the Titans ranked fifth in the NFL with 27 points per game, seventh with 375.8 yards total offense and 12th for highest team passer with an 86.8 rating. Credit for the team's huge offensive improvement often goes to Chris Johnson, whose run to 2,006 yards was fueled by him topping 100 yards in each of those games 10 games.
That might be why Young has been a regular in the Titans' offseason program, working with coaches to sharpen his skills and improve weaknesses like his accuracy when throwing to his left. He also added muscle to his chest and arms, though he said he stays around 233 pounds.
He's studied more film and worked harder with offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger and quarterbacks coach Craig Johnson. Young also is paying some of the costs to bring the receivers down to Houston later this offseason to further work on their chemistry.
Young also is maturing off the field. He turns 27 on Tuesday, and he and his girlfriend's first child together is due in July. The combination has him feeling much more comfortable and able to focus on his job.
"I just go out there and take care of my responsibilities as a quarterback," he said. "Take care of my assignments, knowing my mental game (and) that everything is up to par to where I need to be."
How much the Titans expand the passing game this season will depend on how much Young improves. For now, Heimerdinger likes what he sees, especially how Young handles complicated play-calls in the huddle and his decision-making at the line of scrimmage.
Coach Jeff Fisher said Young's their quarterback and the team's not concerned about his future, not coming off an 8-8 season.
"We've got to do much better than we did last year, and he's going to be a big part of it. If the football team does better, then Vince does better and we're all happy," Fisher said.
NOTES: Fisher turned Thursday's minicamp session into nearly an hour of an offseason game called "Powerball," that combines flag football and a bit of basketball. The reason? A nice break from spending Wednesday cleaning up a flooded neighborhood.