Despite all his antics, Detroit Lions wide receiver Titus Young still has the support of Nate Burleson, his colleague.
Burleson, an aspiring broadcaster, was a guest on “NFL AM” on the NFL Network on Tuesday. He had plenty to say about the troubled young wide receiver.
It was Burleson who first took Young under his wing after Young was drafted in the second round in 2011.
“Titus is like a little brother to me, he’s a guy I’ve given a lot of energy to over the last couple years,’’ said Burleson who is rehabbing from a broken leg.
“For a lot of reasons that people might misunderstand what he does, I appreciate Titus. He’s young, he’s passionate,’’ Burleson said. “Guys come into the NFL, they’re complacent in where they are, they’ve got it, they’re drafted, they have the money, now they relax. Titus doesn’t want to relax, he wants to be the best.’’
Burleson was lost for the season when he broke his leg on Oct. 22. It seemed after that, Young floundered. Burleson said Young needs to be reminded of his role on a team where Calvin Johnson is clearly the No. 1 guy.
“He wants to be THE guy. I think sometimes that gets in the way of his role on the team,’’ Burleson said.
“I’ve got to talk to him and say, ‘Hey we’ve got Calvin so for many reasons we have to be the background dancers. We got to go do our thing. We got to be Tito, he’s Mike Jack. Let him do his thing and we’ll back him up when he needs us,’’’ Burleson said.
“I think he has a clear understanding of that now,’’ he added.
If it’s not too late.
Young has two years remaining on his contract and he is still on the 53-man roster.
Young was sent home following the Nov. 18 game when he lined up in the wrong spot more than once which naturally threw off the offense. It looked like Matthew Stafford was throwing to a ghost.
Young was also sent home in May after sucker-punching teammate Louis Delmas.
Mayhew said there is a way for Young to earn back the trust and respect of his teammates. Perhaps Burleson can be the one who helps in that effort.