While freshman tight end Jermichael Finley watched from the Texas sideline, Vince Young dazzled in the 2006 Rose Bowl, accounting for 467 yards of total offense, three touchdowns and a 9-yard scramble on fourth down for a game-winning touchdown with 19 seconds left. / Getty Images
Tight end Jermichael Finley is happy to see his Texas Longhorns teammate, Vince Young, get another chance with the Green Bay Packers. / Getty Images
Jermichael Finley was a redshirt freshman at the University of Texas in 2005 when Vince Young led the Longhorns to a national championship following a 41-38 win over USC in the Rose Bowl.
The memories of that game are still magical for Finley, who watched Young at the peak of his collegiate powers, accounting for 467 yards of total offense (200 rushing, 267 passing), three touchdowns and a 9-yard scramble on fourth down for a touchdown with 19 seconds left.
Nearly 7˝ years later, the two Longhorns have been reunited with the Green Bay Packers, who signed the now 30-year-old quarterback to a one-year deal earlier this week.
Finley, now an $8.25 million tight end in Green Bay, was happy to see the two-time Pro Bowler get another chance after being released by Buffalo in training camp a year ago and spending the year out of football.
“It’s refreshing man. I love the guy,” Finley said. “He’s a great ball player. He’s with a great organization now, so we’ll see what he can do.”
Young made his Packers’ debut during Friday night’s 17-0 loss to Arizona, completing 1-of-3 passes for 7 yards (a third-down conversion to Alex Gillett) with two carries for 12 yards on two series.
Young has three weeks to show he can usurp Graham Harrell for the No. 2 job, but appeared to gain some traction as the 28-year-old Harrell struggled against the Cardinals, going 12-of-19 for 76 yards with two turnovers (interception, fumble).
There is history between Finley and Young, including in 2011 when Young signed with the Philadelphia Eagles and proclaimed them a “dream team.” When asked for his response, Finley told WSSP in Milwaukee: "VY is a backup, I don't think he should be doing too much talking."
Today, Finley said their relationship is in a good place. He’s kept in contact with Young “here and there” over the past few years and looks forward to what Young can do in Green Bay.
“At the end of the day, he’s here now and now we’re connecting,” Finley said. “He can bring a ton of things. His athleticism. Just a football player – we have a natural born football player there, so we’ll see what we have.”