Taylor to Pats young guns: ‘Time to grow up’
|09.21.10 at 11:04 am ET|
[Click here to hear what Fred Taylor thinks of using youth as an excuse for losing.]
FOXBORO — Sometimes all that’s needed is a quick, simple reminder of what’s at stake in the National Football League.
Fred Taylor, a running back possibly headed for Canton – who turns 35 in late January – did just that for the Patriots youngsters on Monday at Gillette Stadium.
“It’s time to grow up,” Taylor said of questions about the growing pains of Patriots rookies and second-year players learning to deal with losses like Sunday’s 28-14 setback in the Meadowlands. “Growing pains. You either get it or you’re out of it. That’s the way this league works.”
Taylor, sounding like a soon-to-be coach in the league, said young players on both sides of the ball need to not only get the message early on but understand exactly what it means.
“I don’t want to say young defense or this or that,” he continued. “We’re all professional athletes right now playing professional football in the NFL. All of us are getting paid quite well do to our job so that’s the only thing I expect from the guys on the team. Personally, I always try to do my hardest, whether it’s to uplift the team, inspire guys around me, I always give it a 110 when I’m out there.”
Taylor provided another morsel when he spoke -via the media – to his young players about desire, determination and moving past a big disappointment like Sunday.
“They’re the team that earned it,” Taylor said of the Jets. “We were hungry, too. We went out there and played hard and had a great week of preparation. It didn’t work out but at the end of it all, you tilt your hat to them. But the beauty of it is, and this isn’t by any means a consolation, we have another opportunity down the road to play them.
Hear that Darius Butler, Devin McCourty, Jermaine Cunningham and Brandon Spikes? Listening Brandon Meriweather and Patrick Chung?
“But at this point, it’s full focus on Buffalo,” Taylor added. “The Jets will definitely will be in the back of our minds somewhere. If a guy says it isn’t, they would be lying to you. It’s just human nature, especially if you get beat up by somebody, you remember it. We’ll just come out this week, have a great week of practice, get ready for the Bills and try to do better this week.”
As for the limited impact of the Patriots running game, Taylor provided another example of what to say and how to deal with disappointment. Don’t criticize the game plan. Criticize the execution. That’s the way to win trust and support of the coaching staff that calls plays for you and the staff that brought you to New England.
“I think we just need, as a unit, myself, all the backs included, the offensive, I think we need to try our best to run it better,” he said. “Definitely not frustrated. That’s just what the game situation called for.”
The Patriots ran the ball just 20 times for 42 yards on Sunday, with Taylor getting just five touches for 11 yards.
“It was all game-planned and scripted, how we practiced throughout the week,” Taylor said. “We just have to do a better job of executing. Quite honestly, at the end of the day, you just have to give the Jets credit. As much as I hate to lose or any of us should, and as much as we probably understand the rivalry between that division matchup, you’ve got to give them credit. They came out and they played well.”
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