Taylor Made: Fred Talks Offseason

Running back Fred Taylor talks about his contract extension, offseason workouts, and the changes in the coaching staff.

(on how long the extension is for)
"It's long enough to retire a Jaguar and that is a good feeling, a very good feeling."

(on how important it is to retire a Jaguar)
"That is very important. They gave us an offer and after the first offer they added only one year. But Drew (Rosenhaus) went back with a counteroffer and explained to them that we wanted to do a three-year extension. That way I could retire a Jaguar. I always wanted to finish my career in Jacksonville. It's rare that you see guys stick with one team. Just being in Jacksonville where I am able to enjoy those fans, my Gator fans, all of my friends in that community. I have to give the Jaguars a ton of credit. It kind of made me feel bad that I had some harsh words through frustration last offseason saying I wanted a new deal. Sometimes you have to speak up for yourself. They handled it professionally. This thing got knocked out quick. Paul Vance did a great job working with Drew. We met right there in the middle. Both sides are happy. I am extremely happy. The most impressive thing of all is that I get to retire in Jacksonville."

(on if his body feels like he can play through 2010)
"Of course it does. I feel like to have Maurice Jones-Drew, it's a blessing in disguise. We have Greg Jones coming back. Now they finalize my contract so I am going to be there. I am going to give them every ounce that I have in me. The football is easy to me. Health is always one of the key concerns when you are playing this sport. I know I can play throughout the end of this deal. I know that for a fact."

(on if where the Jaguars franchise is headed was a factor in wanting to come back)
"We are close. We understand that in that lockerroom. Some teams that go 8-8 would be content. They will say that it's something to build on. We are so disappointed in that season because the talent that we have and the expectations, especially coming off a 12-4 season the prior year. Last year was really a letdown. This year we don't want to go through that. I enjoy all of my teammates, just being with those young guys, high-energy guys. I am one of the team leaders and that was another thing I factored in. I have a lot of friends in Jacksonville, a lot of guys on the team that I respect. A lot of guys I will go to war with any day of the week. More than the money, Jacksonville is home. I didn't want to have to go through all those changes again. I am just happy that it's done. It's time to get back to busting my rear training."

(on if he is going to work out again in South Florida)
"Right now my plans are to do the exact same thing. Last year I felt the best I had felt in my entire nine years in the NFL. I want to do the same thing. The team hasn't opposed it. They felt like I benefitted from it last year. The bottom line is winning and not where you work out. It's how hard you work out and the condition you return in. I want to do what I did last year. I am more comfortable with that. If they oppose it then we can get together and talk. They have been very professional. We can sit down and reach an agreement. I would like to do the exact same thing I did last year."

(on a lot of NFL players not getting the opportunity to finish their career with one team)
"It's very important. Jimmy Smith did it. I talked to Jimmy and he said it was the best thing that happened to him. Just being out in the community and interacting with the fans. I can go anywhere in Jacksonville and just be me. I don't have to be superstar football player. I can just be everyday Freddy. I don't have to try and put up a front for these people. They treat me well out in the public. For them to know I will be here and retire here, I am sure they will be as excited as I am. It doesn't happen to a lot of guys. I am in the state of Florida. I grew up in Florida. The one thing I can always say is I started playing football in South Florida and I will retire playing football in North Florida. It's just a good feeling."

(on the new additions to the offensive side of the coaching staff)
"I haven't had a chance to meet those guys yet. I have been relaxing, just trying to enjoy my family and offseason time. When it's time to work we will all get in touch. We will get acquainted and make some stuff happen. Jack (Del Rio) wouldn't hire just anybody. Jack wants to win. I am pretty sure those are some good guys he brought in."

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