RB Taylor Delivers When Called Upon

Posted by Mike Wobschall on December 14, 2009 – 9:59 am

Having skilled offensive players does not guarantee offensive success. Aside from those players performing on the field, coaches must also do their part by putting those players in a position to succeed.

The Vikings have found offensive success this season thanks to many talented offensive weapons, from stud RB Adrian Peterson to rookie WR Percy Harvin. The coaching staff has put these players in a position to succeed and the players have delivered.

But sometimes lost in the Sidney Rice highlight-caliber grabs and electric Harvin kick returns is a player who, perhaps more than any other, is used perfectly by the Vikings coaching staff.

Chester Taylor.

Taylor came to the Vikings in 2006, head coach Brad Childress’ 1st season on the job in Minnesota, and he quickly established himself as a quality #1 RB with 1,216 rushing yards and 6 TDs in his 1st season as a feature back. But then the Vikings drafted Peterson, and #28 quickly emerged as the league’s best RB, which in turn decreased the number of opportunities for Taylor.

But the beauty of the situation for the Vikings is that although Taylor’s number of touches have gone down, his impact and the significance of his opportunities remain vital to the Vikings success. And that’s a credit to the Vikings coaching staff.

Taylor has been an excellent change of pace back for the Vikings and he’s eased the load on Peterson during their 2+ seasons together in Minnesota. Since Peterson was drafted, Taylor has carried the ball 335 times for 1,534 yards, which averages out to 4.6 yards per carry. That’s 335 fewer times Peterson has taken a hit, yet the Vikings still got 4.6 yards per touch.

Against the Bengals on Sunday, Taylor continued to be a factor for the Vikings offense. He had 5 carries for 25 yards and 2 receptions for 32 yards. More impressive than the raw numbers, though, is the timing of his contributions.

Specifically, Taylor was crucial to the Vikings scoring on their opening possession of the 2nd half. On 3rd and 5 from the Vikings 45, Taylor’s number was called and he delivered with a 6-yard reception. On the next play, he gained 5 yards on a rushing attempt. Two plays later, after a penalty and a sack, Taylor picked up a 3rd and 12 from midfield with a 26-yard reception. On the next play he registered a 17-yard rush down to the Bengals 8.

Taylor touched the ball 4 times on that drive and gained a total of 54 yards, ultimately setting up a Peterson 1-yard TD run on the 10th play of the series and putting the game out of reach for Cincinnati. Both of his receptions came on 3rd down, one of which converted a 3rd and 12. And speaking of 3rd and long situations, Taylor leads the league in receptions on plays of 3rd and 8 or longer with 14.

The opening drive of the 2nd half on Sunday is a great example of the Vikings coaching staff putting Taylor in a position to succeed, and Taylor delivering when put in that situation.

Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 7 Comments »

7 Responses to “RB Taylor Delivers When Called Upon”

  1. By Popper on Dec 14, 2009 | Reply

    Chester Taylor is a great running back. Out of the backfield for that short pass from Brett Favre, Chester has better hands. Childress using Adrian Petersen and Taylor as he did yesterday will take the Vikings deep into the post season playoffs. GO VIKINGS!!!!!!!

  2. By SkolVikings on Dec 14, 2009 | Reply

    I wish I saw a little more out of Taylor, to be honest. No one is disputing that AP is a stud, but he’s really been getting jammed up this year. It seems like when Chester Taylor ends up in the mix a little more often, space opens up for AP, and Taylor tends to run well himself.

  3. By Dennis Button on Dec 14, 2009 | Reply

    Not many teams have a number 1 as a back up. This guy is the unsung hero of the vikings offense and the fans should give him tons of praise. I sure hope he stays in Minnesota another year or two but i really doubt that he will. Thank you Chester!

  4. By VikingsDefenseFan on Dec 14, 2009 | Reply

    I did not vote for Chester Taylor as Unsung Hero. Mainly because I feel that Unsung is not enough recognition for him, he simply deserves more credit. Although I admit I’d like to see a few new interviews with him. In any case when he goes free agent next year, we need to keep him.

  5. By vikingsfan1955 on Dec 14, 2009 | Reply

    I read on the nfl blog that chester isn’t a feature back anymore and I just laughed.That man can start on another team easy and he showed he’s as good as when he came to us.The one two punch we have with him abd ap is second to none and I’m happy taylor stayed when he became second string but that commitment and loyalty will pay off with the ultimate prize a bowl ring.Taylor all of us vikings fans love and appreciate u,stay a few more yrs plz.

  6. By rap99 on Dec 14, 2009 | Reply

    all great comments! i hope chester will stay with the vikes, but i think he is a F/A at the end of the season, and he will want to go where he will play. lets get a ring before he goes!!! SKOL!!! GO VIKES!!!!

  7. By CA Norwegian on Dec 14, 2009 | Reply

    Taylor, please don’t go! Remember, many great backs who get all the touches end up retiring early, like Robert Smith or Barry Sanders. By playing for the Vikings you will have less wear and tear, and be able to play longer. Somebody give him and AP practice time in the slot, so when Harvin is out, we can have them both on the field. Make the backers and secondary commit to one side or the other – Chester or Adrian in the flat or slants, etc. Throw away from most pursuit, and pick away at the defenses that way. Streak Bernard, and follow in behind with Chester, or Adrian. Tackles will be broken and so will the enemy.

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