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VikesfaninWis
05-11-2006, 05:06 PM
Taylor in the Spotlight


Date: May 11, 2006

Everything was new for Vikings running back Chester Taylor at the team’s last minicamp – new team, new scheme and new coaches. He is looking to prove to himself he can handle it all.

Running back Chester Taylor has never had the opportunity to be a full-time featured back in the NFL. That’s what happens playing behind one of the most productive backs (Jamal Lewis) for four years in one of the league’s most run-oriented offenses in Baltimore.

But at his first chance to experience unrestricted free agency, Taylor was courted quickly and certainly by the Minnesota Vikings. The two joined in their professional relationship on the first day of free agency.

“I believe we made a great choice in Minnesota,” Taylor said at the Vikings’ first minicamp. “They brought me in here to run the ball, and hopefully we can do that this year and build on that because you can’t win games without running the football.”

I want to see how it is with the pads on, but right now the offensive line is looking pretty good. And the fullback as well – we’ve got (Tony) Richardson, so that’s just another piece of the puzzle.”

Taylor will get a little more complete look at the offense this weekend as the Vikings take the practice field for another three-day stretch of practices. Although Friday through Monday’s five practices won’t be in full pads, it will be a chance for the veterans to revisit what they learned in April’s camp, add to it and be joined by more than 20 new rookies.

“I was real anxious to see how the whole offense was going to work, working 11-on-11 and going against the defense. Instead of being in the classroom, I like going on the field and doing it,” Taylor said.

The way it will work is having a strong left side of the offensive line with tackle Bryant McKinnie and Pro Bowlers Steve Hutchinson and Matt Birk next to him. The right side of the line got a little more experienced on draft day when the Vikings traded for four-year pro Artis Hicks, who will be making his full-team practice debut at right guard after starting 31 games in the last three years in Philadelphia.

With the addition of Richardson and the remade offensive line, it does appear the Vikings are ready to run the ball, and Taylor is ready to prove he can be the featured back doing the work.

“The majority of the time in Baltimore I was asked to play third downs, so that’s like catching and blocking as well,” Taylor said. “My role here is running and then adding on to that.”

In Baltimore, Taylor never had more than four starts in a season and started only eight games in four years, but the highest rushing average of his career came in 2004, when he also had the most opportunity. It was then that he made four starts, rushed 160 times for a 4.5-yard average. Those numbers are just slightly better than what Mewelde Moore did last year in Minnesota, averaging 4.3 yards per carry as the Vikings’ most-used running back.

As a team, the Vikings struggled to run the ball consistently, and they seem set on having a new running back assume a role he’s never really had.

“Chester is a bigger running back and low-mileage back,” head coach Brad Childress said upon Taylor’s signing. “He’s worked behind Jamal Lewis, but I have a very distinct recollection of him. He’s a guy who can touch the ball 20 to 30 times a game and I think he gets better as he gets warmed up with each carry. He has great hands and is a good runner between the tackles who still has good enough speed to circle the defense.”

It will be a watershed year for Taylor. While others will be looking to see how he performs in his first opportunity to be “the man,” he says he only has to prove his durability to himself.

“I don’t have to prove it to anybody. I just want to prove it to myself that I’m durable and I can do it. Only I know how much I can stand and how many carries I can do. I’m going to work hard this offseason to carry a lot of the load this year.”

That offseason maturation continues this weekend.

cajunvike
05-11-2006, 05:17 PM
Time to kick some BUTT, Chester...let's hope that "The Molester" will be ready to abuse some NFL defenses next season!!!

NordicNed
05-11-2006, 05:18 PM
I'm going to enjoy watching what Taylor brings to the table this year.....I have a good feeling about this guy...

Redrouster
05-11-2006, 05:23 PM
I am looking forward to the Vikes having a solid running game to bring to the table. Then, watch the passing game go through the roof!

Mr. Purple
05-11-2006, 05:28 PM
Same here Ned, it feels like alot of new players brought in "fit". They all have the old fashioned ways of playing. Gettin the job done and not show boating after every good play.Tony Richardson is really gonna help this offense this year. Hes a proven Pro Bowl Vetern FB, and hes a d@mn good one! I'm glad that Childress addressed our line needs so fully this offseason.

Vikes_King
05-11-2006, 08:38 PM
hopefully he can fill what we've been lacking since robert smith; a consistant back

VikesfaninWis
05-11-2006, 08:41 PM
Chester will be our guy.. I wasn't so sure about him at first, but now I like him alot.. Someone said about having class on this team.. Well Taylor, Richardson, and Hutchinson are just that. Those 3 guys along with our new coaching staff will really bring alot of class to the Vikings orginization.

BadlandsVikings
05-11-2006, 08:43 PM
I hope he can get it done.

MightyVikes12391
05-11-2006, 08:44 PM
chester is gonna be a beast

2beersTommy
05-11-2006, 08:51 PM
"VikingNed" wrote:

I'm going to enjoy watching what Taylor brings to the table this year.....I have a good feeling about this guy...

me too Ned, this guys is going to be a beast !

Warp
05-11-2006, 08:53 PM
Oh yeah Chestor is gonna be awesome! I have full confidence in him :grin:

PrImEtImESmooT21
05-11-2006, 08:53 PM
C.Taylor is a good backup and 3rd down guy we already have that in M.Moore and C.Fason we needed a starter but i think we made a wrong move by not drafting one or signing a big time RB.

2beersTommy
05-11-2006, 08:55 PM
"PrImEtImESmooT21" wrote:

C.Taylor is a good backup and 3rd down guy we already have that in M.Moore and C.Fason we needed a starter but i think we made a wrong move by not drafting one or signing a big time RB.

:shock: a good back-up ? just wait to you see the numbers this guys is gonna put up.

Vikes_King
05-11-2006, 08:58 PM
i can see us going after a big time running back in next years offseason, this year they're confident in taylor as starter and moore as a backup, we'll need to get someone next year, although i would have loved to see moroney in purple =)

other than that.. i cant wait until summer when these guys come down to mankato, every year i go out on the field with oscar reed and earsal mackbee

PrImEtImESmooT21
05-11-2006, 08:58 PM
"2beersTommy" wrote:

"PrImEtImESmooT21" wrote:

C.Taylor is a good backup and 3rd down guy we already have that in M.Moore and C.Fason we needed a starter but i think we made a wrong move by not drafting one or signing a big time RB.

:shock: a good back-up ? just wait to you see the numbers this guys is gonna put up.

I definetly hope so but i still think we should of taken Maroney

VikesfaninWis
05-11-2006, 08:58 PM
"PrImEtImESmooT21" wrote:

C.Taylor is a good backup and 3rd down guy we already have that in M.Moore and C.Fason we needed a starter but i think we made a wrong move by not drafting one or signing a big time RB.


I don't know how you can say that? He has never been given the chance to start because of where he was playing. When he has played when Jamal Lewis was injured he did real well..

Now I remember when people said the same thing about another backup behind Jamal Lewis.. He went on to be a great RB in the NFL. He was labeled as a career backup, and when given the chance to start, he excelled.. That guy is Priest Holmes.. Now if Chester Taylor can duplicate that success, I will be a happy camper..

seaniemck7
05-12-2006, 12:19 AM
"VikesfaninWis" wrote:

"PrImEtImESmooT21" wrote:

C.Taylor is a good backup and 3rd down guy we already have that in M.Moore and C.Fason we needed a starter but i think we made a wrong move by not drafting one or signing a big time RB.


I don't know how you can say that? He has never been given the chance to start because of where he was playing. When he has played when Jamal Lewis was injured he did real well..

Now I remember when people said the same thing about another backup behind Jamal Lewis.. He went on to be a great RB in the NFL. He was labeled as a career backup, and when given the chance to start, he excelled.. That guy is Priest Holmes.. Now if Chester Taylor can duplicate that success, I will be a happy camper..

I have been saying that ever since we brought Taylor in. Holmes, Marcus Allen, LaMont Jordan, Larry Johnson have all made the best of their situations when they had to play behind a premier back for a couple of years. Gaining knowlegde of the game and the position without enduring a lot of mileage on the legs seems to have work out well for some RBs. I think Taylor can be one of these types of backs for us.

Slade
05-12-2006, 12:23 AM
When Taylor signed with us, why do you think the Ravens brought in Mike Anderson & kept Jamal Lewis? If Chester stayed in Baltimore, Jamal would have been released/cut/traded. The Ravens knew how valuable CTaylor is. They were hoping he would be their starting back.

damien927
05-12-2006, 12:53 AM
I am predicting 1,327 yards and 12 TD's fro Chester this year... I hope anyway!

fabybaby32
05-12-2006, 12:58 AM
I think he is gonna be a stud and im not just saying that because hes a viking. He is a back who can beat you running the ball or catching it out of the backfield. Im excited

i_bleed_purple
05-12-2006, 01:03 AM
i predict 1337 yards and 10 td's. memo will get 400 yards and fason 250 for a grand total of 1987 yards (plus the odd reverse/end around/qb scramble)

i'm really excited about this guy. with the line we've got now, there's no way he won't rush 1000 yards unless he goes down in the beginning of the season. and in which case Memo could even get over 1000 yards.

with the offense we've got now, there should be no reason that we can't convert on 3rd and short. just power left and its an automatic 5 yards.

umaguma1979
05-12-2006, 01:10 AM
I still think Mewelde Moore is a better all around back. Many do not realize his receiving skills are outstanding. It will be a good battle between MM and Taylor, but plenty of room for both players. Between the two - we good two very good backs.

singersp
05-12-2006, 01:23 AM
I can't honestly say right now which back will be more productive, Memo or
C-Tay.

I will reserve my judgement until I can see what they'll do on the field with our revamped line.

Ltrey33
05-12-2006, 01:26 AM
I hate saying this, because someone is liable to mark them but here goes: Mark my words, if Chester stays healthy, he is going to be well over 1,000 yards this year.

umaguma1979
05-12-2006, 02:02 AM
I think its possible we have two backs go over a 1,000. Memo & taylor are pretty close in ability. So even if one becomes the starter, the other is likly to get carries. Our line looks very good. I also like the fact Kleinsasser & Richardson are great blockers. The wildcard is the right guard & tackle positions.

SharperVikings
05-12-2006, 02:06 AM
"Ltrey33" wrote:

I hate saying this, because someone is liable to mark them but here goes: Mark my words, if Chester stays healthy, he is going to be well over 1,000 yards this year.

I have to say, I would be very excited! When was the last time we had a 1,000 yard back?

Vikes_King
05-12-2006, 03:03 AM
last time we had a 1000 yard back, minus the one season bennet had over 1000 yards (much thanks to 3 consecutive games w/ 60 yard runs), would be robert smith. lol

whackthepack
05-12-2006, 01:40 PM
"umaguma1979" wrote:

I still think Mewelde Moore is a better all around back. Many do not realize his receiving skills are outstanding. It will be a good battle between MM and Taylor, but plenty of room for both players. Between the two - we good two very good backs.

MeMo has to prove he can stay healthy. When he is on the field he can get the job done, but it has been 3 or 4 games and then he is hurt for 3 or 4 weeks.

It would have been tough to go into this year with MeMo as the number 1 back and hope that he stays healthy after all the injuries in his first 2 seasons. If he can stay healthy I think he can push Taylor for the top back but he has to be able to stay on the field to be the top guy!

ChezPizmo
05-12-2006, 03:05 PM
"VikingNed" wrote:

I'm going to enjoy watching what Taylor brings to the table this year.....I have a good feeling about this guy...

I do, too. 100%. I love hearing about guys like this who have that itching desire inside to prove themselves. And in this case, he wants to prove to people that he is more than a 2nd string, 3rd down kind of 'back.

ChezPizmo
05-12-2006, 03:31 PM
"Slade" wrote:

When Taylor signed with us, why do you think the Ravens brought in Mike Anderson & kept Jamal Lewis? If Chester stayed in Baltimore, Jamal would have been released/cut/traded. The Ravens knew how valuable CTaylor is. They were hoping he would be their starting back.

Never really thought about that. Very good point. :thumbleft:

singersp
05-13-2006, 01:33 AM
"SharperVikings" wrote:

I have to say, I would be very excited! When was the last time we had a 1,000 yard back?

2002. Michael Bennett: 1,296 yards.

farvathevikinglover
05-13-2006, 02:12 AM
"singersp" wrote:

"SharperVikings" wrote:

I have to say, I would be very excited! When was the last time we had a 1,000 yard back?

2002. Michael Bennett 1,296 yards.may I just add, that was probably his only good season, and then he got injured

singersp
05-13-2006, 02:55 AM
"farvathevikinglover" wrote:

"singersp" wrote:

"SharperVikings" wrote:

I have to say, I would be very excited! When was the last time we had a 1,000 yard back?

2002. Michael Bennett 1,296 yards.may I just add, that was probably his only good season, and then he got injured

Losing Birk & Dixon on our line was a bigger impact to the decline in 1,000 yard rushers on out team, than a lot of people think.

DaunteHOF
05-14-2006, 07:12 AM
Taylor in the spotlight and everyone is watching

Redrouster
05-14-2006, 08:03 AM
"umaguma1979" wrote:

I still think Mewelde Moore is a better all around back. Many do not realize his receiving skills are outstanding. It will be a good battle between MM and Taylor, but plenty of room for both players. Between the two - we good two very good backs.I do not like the durablity of MM. He already has a tweaked wrist. What are the chances he gets hurt and misses 3 to 4 games this year? I would say about 90%!