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singersp
06-08-2006, 01:11 PM
Can Taylor carry the load for Vikes?

By Eric Krupka on June 8, 2006 01:39 AM
realfootball365.com

The biggest question among first time starting running backs always comes down to whether or not they can carry the load for a rigorous, tiring 16-game schedule. The most asked question concerning the Minnesota Vikings and their offense deals with that very issue. The organization signed Chester Taylor to a four-year, $14.1 million contract luring him away from the Baltimore Ravens . Taylor has never been a featured back, but is likely to assume the role in Minneapolis this season.

It really seems to be a coin-flip's chance as to whether or not Taylor will become dominant or just another average back. However, luckily for the Vikings, there are plenty of good signs pointing towards the positive 50 percent chance. If the team has truly struck gold, the team's fans could be seeing the next Priest Holmes. Like the Kansas City Chiefs back, Taylor comes as a former backup that was underutilized and hasn't endured the wear and tear of an every-down back.

Can Chester Taylor carry the load? He has heard this question muttered numerous times already this offseason. Nobody will question his confidence after his response.

"I'm ready for the challenge. I had my spurts in Baltimore when Jamal got hurt, and then he got suspended and I had to take the load. I know I can do it. I just want to prove I can do it for a whole season this time," said Taylor.

It's good to see that kind of confidence from the 5-11, 213-pound back out of Toledo. The five-year veteran has carried the ball 373 times for 1,599 yards, good for a 4.3 yards per carry average in his career.

The signs pointing to Taylor becoming a terrific back for the Vikings--immediately--start up front with the offensive line. The signing of free-agent guard Steve Hutchinson, an All-Pro, and arguably the best guard in the NFL, helps shore up an offensive line that was leaky and penalty-prone last season. In addition to Hutchinson, the organization brought in former Philadelphia Eagle Artis Hicks via trade. With the renewed health of former All-Pro center Matt Birk teaming up with rock solid tackle Bryant McKinnie and the new acquisitions, the offensive line has quickly become one of the least areas of concern on the team. Every running back, outside of maybe Barry Sanders, needs a good offensive line to be successful.

"I had a great offensive line in Baltimore, but I'm really looking forward to playing behind this line," said Taylor.

Another reason Taylor should be successful is his great hands. In the west coast offense the team will be instituting for the upcoming season, the running back has to be a pass-catching threat. Taylor is a tremendous pass-catching option out of the backfield (41 receptions last season), much like former San Diego Chargers back Ronnie Harmon.

Also, while Taylor will likely be carrying the load, he will have a great second back in Mewelde Moore to spell him, and Ciatrick Fason to handle the goal-line carries. Taking those backs into account, there is no reason to believe that Taylor can't put up a Pro Bowl-caliber season, while helping to lead the Minnesota Vikings ' offense to a great season.

The only troublesome thing is that Taylor has reportedly come to camp overweight and a little out of shape. However, this shouldn't be blown out of proportion, because after all, he has three months to get himself into playing shape, which should easily be enough time.

Can Taylor carry the load for the Vikes?

He says he can, and frankly, there's no reason to doubt him yet.

Get more Chester Taylor insights at RealFootball365.com

-Eric Krupka can be reached at ekrupka@realfootball365.com

Can Taylor carry the load for Vikes? (http://www.realfootball365.com/nfl/articles/2006/06/chester-taylor-vikings080606.html)

VikesfaninWis
06-08-2006, 01:22 PM
I think he will... I mean, Gary Coleman can put up great numbers behind that line..

Displaced_Viking
06-08-2006, 02:34 PM
I think he'll do really well. I mean 4.3 yards average per carry? Sweet.

Benet
06-08-2006, 02:42 PM
I think he'll do fine, considering he gets to face the Packers' and Lions' defences twice this year.. That's 400 yards, minimum.

sunny
06-08-2006, 03:29 PM
"singersp" wrote:


It's good to see that kind of confidence from the 5-11, 213-pound back out of Toledo. The five-year veteran has carried the ball 373 times for 1,599 yards, good for a 4.3 yards per carry average in his career.




Five year veteran with only one to two years of wear and tear on his body, he could be with us a long time :cool:

tastywaves
06-08-2006, 05:18 PM
"VikesfaninWis" wrote:

I think he will... I mean, Gary Coleman can put up great numbers behind that line..

What you talking about? :lol:

I don't like that he's overweight, I have no doubt he can get in shape by season start, but I would like to see him taking better care of himself in the offseason.

cajunvike
06-08-2006, 05:47 PM
"VikesfaninWis" wrote:

I think he will... I mean, Gary Coleman can put up great numbers behind that line..

What you talkin' 'bout, WILLIS?

I have a great story about meeting Gary Coleman that I will tell you guys one day when I have more time to type it all out...it is pretty funny!

cajunvike
06-08-2006, 05:52 PM
He had BETTER be ready to carry the load...we passed up DeAngelo Williams in the draft because we acquired Taylor (yes, Z, I am a broken record on this issue... :lol: )

The onus is on him to prove that he can be a feature back in our offense...he sure has the beasts up front to open up holes for him...all he needs to do is show some vision and get his yards.

DCPologirl
06-08-2006, 05:58 PM
"VikesfaninWis" wrote:

I think he will... I mean, Gary Coleman can put up great numbers behind that line..

That's a very good point! LOL I am so excited about our offensive line!

thetrenches68OL
06-08-2006, 06:01 PM
if he cant we always got mewelde

JDogg926
06-08-2006, 06:10 PM
"thetrenches68OL" wrote:

if he cant we always got mewelde

Good point, although he gets injured a little too often, or takes minor injuries a little too seriously, or Tice just didn't like him, I've always enjoyed watching him play.

I'd still say he's one of, if not the, most underrated back in the league.

I love Chris Berman's "Waltzing Mewelde" on NFL Primetime.

thanatoschristou
06-08-2006, 06:16 PM
Taylor will be fine I think. I thought Baltimore should have given Taylor a couple of starts last year since Lewis did jack.

Wiggles67
06-08-2006, 06:18 PM
The Vikings have put Taylor in a position where he pretty much has to succeed. With the offensive line and the style of offense catering to his strengths I think he will do just fine. If not we do have a stable of capable running backs all that we should be able to insert in the offense and get nice porductions out of

petrodemos
06-08-2006, 08:46 PM
so is this the OFFICIAL taylor thread now?

Bdubya
06-08-2006, 08:57 PM
"cajunvike" wrote:

He had BETTER be ready to carry the load...we passed up DeAngelo Williams in the draft because we acquired Taylor

Who didn't see that one coming? :smile:

cajunvike
06-08-2006, 09:10 PM
"Bdubya" wrote:

"cajunvike" wrote:

He had BETTER be ready to carry the load...we passed up DeAngelo Williams in the draft because we acquired Taylor

Who didn't see that one coming? :smile:

Oh, you ain't seen NOTHING yet...wait until Matt Jones has his breakout year this season...I will be talking that up ALL season!