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  1. #1
    singersp's Avatar
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    Chester Taylor: Gunning to run

    [size=13pt]Chester Taylor: Cash and carry[/size]

    Last update: September 07, 2006 – 5:54 PM

    The list of available running backs as the NFL's free agency period neared last March included Shaun Alexander, Edgerrin James and Jamal Lewis. Sitting on an NFL-high $31 million available under the salary cap, the Vikings were in a perfect position to pounce.

    But as Alexander and Lewis returned to Seattle and Baltimore, respectively, and James left Indianapolis to sign with Arizona, the Vikings decided to give Chester Taylor a big chance and even bigger check.

    Taylor, 26, left his role as Lewis' caddie in Baltimore to sign a four-year, $14 million contract with the Vikings in March. Taylor never had more than 160 carries or rushed for more than 714 yards in four seasons with the Ravens.

    Assuming he stays healthy, Taylor will touch the football plenty this season. Ciatrick Fason and Mewelde Moore also will see playing time, but Taylor will be the go-to running back and also will be called on to catch plenty of passes in the West Coast system.

    Taylor caught 71 passes over the past two seasons with the Ravens. Baltimore, however, did not use the West Coast offense, meaning Taylor has had to do some on-the-job learning. This includes providing protection for the quarterback.

    "I feel really good with it," Taylor said. "The more I come out here and practice, the more I feel like I'm getting comfortable with it."

    So what type of workload can Taylor expect to see on a week-to-week basis?

    "All games are different, so you never know how a game is going to fall," offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said. "But if you could get him 20-plus carries that would be great."


    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  2. #2
    vike_mike's Avatar
    vike_mike is offline Pro-Bowler
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    Dec 1969

    Re: Chester Taylor: Cash and carry

    Well let's hope he can average 5 yards per carry or better.
    Let's go Taylor.

  3. #3
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    Sep 2006

    Re: Chester Taylor: Cash and carry

    i am really hoping that taylor will shine thru for us, now that the games really count, hopefully he will do it...i am rooting for ya taylor,,,go show them what you have

  4. #4
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    Dec 1969

    Re: Chester Taylor: Cash and carry

    His numbers didn't look that great, but I think he will do just fine.
    Sometimes it takes a little while for the OL and RB to get on the same page.

  5. #5
    GFreeman44's Avatar
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    Dec 1969

    Re: Chester Taylor: Cash and carry

    I agree, judging from preseason it did not look like the running game had it's timing down.
    It was like the gaps never opened for him.
    Then again, it was just preseason.

    I won't be quick to judge Taylor or our running game after week 1.
    I don't expect us to have great success running the ball against the Redskins.
    However, I really hope I am wrong and we can pound the ball with the ground attack and control t.o.p.

    If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bs.

  6. #6
    cajunvike's Avatar
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    Re: Chester Taylor: Cash and carry

    Dude better post a G this season...MINIMUM...and I'm not talking about on PP.O either!!!

  7. #7
    NordicNed is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Chester Taylor: Cash and carry

    "cajunvike" wrote:
    Dude better post a G this season...MINIMUM...and I'm not talking about on PP.O either!!!

    I think he will rush for 1,200 to 1,300 yards this season.....If he stays healthy that is.....


  8. #8
    singersp's Avatar
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    Re: Chester Taylor: Gunning to Run

    Posted on Sun, Sep. 10, 2006

    [size=13pt]Gunning to run[/size]

    New Vikings running back Chester Taylor is eager to show he's an every-down player.

    Pioneer Press

    Travis Taylor was a rookie wide receiver with the Baltimore Ravens six years ago when running back Jamal Lewis and one of the best defenses in NFL history carried the team all the way to a Super Bowl title.

    Now in his second season with the Vikings, Taylor contends this team has a running back in Chester Taylor who can do the same.

    "Chester is that kind of back," he said. "He's a slasher, he can be a power guy when it's third and 2, and he can come out of the backfield and catch the ball like Brian Westbrook in Philadelphia. His game is wide open."

    Chester Taylor had a forgettable exhibition season, finishing with 95 yards on 37 carries (a puny 2.6-yard average), with a long of 17 yards and no touchdowns.

    That has done nothing, though, to diminish the Vikings' high expectations for someone they targeted early in free agency to be their feature back.

    "I think that he's gotten better and better and better," coach Brad Childress said. "He gets better with the more looks he has. He understands more about how we do business every day, more about our scheme every day. I can see his confidence grow. Not that he was not a confident guy, but I can see that he knows what he's doing. Add a little talent to that, and it's not a bad situation."

    Taylor, after four seasons spent primarily as Lewis' backup in Baltimore, said he is eager to start earning his four-year, $14.1 million contract and promised he will be ready to carry the load when the opening bell rings Monday night at Washington.

    "They brought me here to be an every-down back, and when I have my number called, I'm going to go out there and step up," he said. "If I need to go out there every down, I'm going to be out there. It doesn't matter how long."

    An offensive line that still is learning to play as a unit and opposing defenses that stacked the line to stop the run were just two factors the Vikings say kept Taylor's numbers down in the exhibition season.

    Childress made that clear after Taylor's 10-carry, 27-yard performance in the third game against Baltimore.

    "It's still a work in progress," he said of the running game. "I would say this: Chester made some pretty good 1- and 2-yard runs because we weren't always covering people up in there."

    After four seasons in a supporting role, Taylor is just looking to prove he's a lead back and follow in the footsteps of Barry Sanders, Emmitt Smith and other running backs he grew up admiring.

    Not that he has tried to pattern his game after any of them.

    "I'm not trying to be like anybody else," he said. "I'm just going to come in here and play ball like I always have."

    The Vikings happily would settle for a 21st-century version of Chuck Foreman, who led the team in rushing every season from 1973-78 and never ranked lower than third in receiving.

    Modern NFL history is filled with dominant backs, from Miami's Larry Csonka and Pittsburgh's Franco Harris to Washington's John Riggins, who told coach Joe Gibbs to just keep feeding him the ball during the 1982 playoffs and he would carry the team to the Super Bowl.

    Riggins did just that in Super Bowl XVII, just as Lewis did 13 years later with the Ravens' offense.

    If the Vikings can put together a playoff run — and that's a big "if" — they think Taylor can do the same for them, although the way he does it might be a little different.

    "In Baltimore, they ran the ball, ran the ball and ran it again," fullback Tony Richardson said. "In the West Coast offense, the ball is spread around. But yeah, if we got into it, and it was an element (bad-weather) game and maybe the passing game's not going to be as effective, I think... we could put it on his back, and he'd ride us home."

    Taylor and Vikings fans just hope he gets that chance.

    Don Seeholzer can be reached at [email protected]

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  9. #9
    singersp's Avatar
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    Re: Chester Taylor: Gunning to run

    Lets just hope he stays healthy & outdoes his pre-season performance.

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  10. #10
    jdvike's Avatar
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    Re: Chester Taylor: Gunning to run

    To blame Taylor's lack of productivity on his showing in the preseason is a bit short sighted.
    The O-line has got to stop allowing penetration in the at least Taylor doesn't hit anyone in another colored jersey till at least the line of scrimmage.
    When Taylor has daylight to run through and doesn't produce then we have something to worry about.

    Lets just hope the O-line does a better job in the runblocking...because the pass protection is definitely there.

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