When it comes to the art of playing quarterback, there is no substitute for experience. However, after dismal starts to the new season, the Tennessee Titans and the Arizona Cardinals have clearly decided that the future is now.
Both selected an exciting quarterback prospect in the collegiate draft. Neither was expected to see much action this year, yet both were pressed into service on Sunday, with painful results.
The Titans turned to Vince Young after the failures of their veteran, Kerry Collins, but Young found that a glittering college career counted for little when facing the Dallas Cowboys. He was sacked twice, intercepted twice and lost a fumble as Dallas romped to a 45-14 win. He managed a touchdown, a 17-yarder to Ben Troupe, but that was cancelled out by his second interception, which Brady James returned 15 yards for a Cowboys score.
Despite the 23-year-old passer's growing pains, the Tennessee coach Jeff Fisher has announced that he will keep faith with him for the foreseeable future.
Terrell Owens played with his broken right hand only five days after visiting hospital for an accidental overdose, which the Dallas receiver denied was a suicide attempt. Owens caught five passes for 88 yards.
Arizona's head man, Dennis Green, will persevere with Matt Leinart despite the Cardinals' 32-10 defeat in Atlanta. Leinart, 23, replaced the error-prone veteran Kurt Warner but did little to stake a claim to greatness as he threw an interception and lost a fumble. "I've been waiting for my turn," said the player selected 10th in this year's draft. "I'm not arrogant, but I have a lot of confidence. I feel the more experience I get, the better I will be."
As if to confirm the point, Kansas City's 33-year-old Damon Huard enjoyed another successful outing, leading his side to a 41-0 romp over the hapless San Francisco 49ers. A 10-year veteran, Huard has been a second-stringer for most of his career but was forced into action three weeks ago following an injury to the Chiefs' starter, Trent Green.
Green's return is imminent but Huard, who had barely thrown a pass in the past six years, has proved to be a capable babysitter. He completed 18 of 23 passes for 208 yards and two touchdowns against the 49ers - and the Chiefs have no plans to rush Green back ahead of schedule.