LIONS INSIDER

Twentyman: Young shows lack of maturity in Lions 27-23 win over Rams

Posted Sep 10, 2012

Young and Rams rookie cornerback Janoris Jenkins were jawing back and forth and the confrontation ended with Young head-butting Jenkins. The referee saw it and Young was flagged 15 yards for unnecessary roughness.

Lions receiver Titus Young debuted a brand new game jersey Sunday vs. the Rams that read "Young Sr." on the back. Young recently celebrated the birth of his first son, who he named Titus Demetrius Young, Jr.

You'd think that the additional responsibility of being a new father would bring with it some added maturity and a sense of restraint to not let his temper get the best of him. Not to mention having already been in the doghouse for issues related to his temper last season and earlier this year.

Apparently that's not the case.

Late in the second quarter, Sunday, as Rams cornerback Cortland Finnegan was returning a Matthew Stafford interception 31 yards for a touchdown, Young and Rams rookie cornerback Janoris Jenkins were jawing back and forth and the confrontation ended with Young head-butting Jenkins. The referee saw it and Young was flagged 15 yards for unnecessary roughness.

"He did that and that wasn't a smart thing," Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said of Young after the game.

It's not the first time Schwartz has said that, either.

Last year against the Saints in the regular season, Young got into a verbal spat with a Saints safety Malcom Jenkins at the goal line as the Lions were on the doorstep of scoring a touchdown. He ended up shoving Jenkins and was penalized 15 yards for unnecessary roughness. The Lions had to settle for a field goal instead of a potential touchdown.

Young was benched for most of the second half of that game after the incident.

He got into hot water again this offseason when he reportedly punched teammate Louis Delmas during an offseason workout. Delmas, mind you, is one of the great trash talkers on the Lions defense. Neither player has ever talked about the incident.

Young was absent from workouts for the next week as he dealt with "a personal matter."

Those two instances should have been enough for Young to realize that he has to keep his head about him and let things simply roll off his shoulders.

Finnegan has a reputation for getting under receivers' skin and Jenkins has apparently learned a thing or two from his veteran teammate.

"We knew what was going to happen in some situations and him and a couple guys were sort of going back and forth and that was one of the situations where – it was right in front of me the whole time – and it looked like he was going to do the right thing and walk away from it," Schwartz said of the incident. "Then at the last second (Young) turned and made a really dumb decision."

The penalty moved the ensuing kickoff to the 50-yard line and allowed the Rams to attempt a pooch kick to try and recover the ball for an extra possession before the half ended.

"The thing that really helped us the next play was Will Heller made a great play on the kickoff return because they had the ball at midfield, which gives them the ability to sort of free-wheel," Schwartz said. "They can try an onside kick, they tried to sort of chip it behind our front line and chase it and Will bailed us out of that bad decision."

Young is a special talent at the receiver position and the Lions have big plans for him this season, but how can they put more responsibility on his plate when he continues to make immature decisions that hurt the team?

Talent isn't enough. Schwartz is a smart coach and he likes smart players. I suspect he won't have too much more patience with Young and these type of plays moving forward.