Taylor Officially Moves On

When the Jaguars brass met with Fred Taylor a little over a week ago, it was understood that the team's leading rusher and best player in franchise history would have to add a new chapter to his pro football career. On the first day of free agency, Taylor decided to explore that new chapter in New England, as he will try his best to chase a ring.

"After talking to Coach Belichick and looking at everything, looking at the type of players they have, it was pretty much a no brainer," Taylor said when asked if his decision to sign with the Patriots was easy. "Who wouldn't want to play in New England? They have been the most successful organization in the last decade or so. It feels like a good fit with Tom [Brady], Randy [Moss], Wes Welker, Kevin [Faulk], Laurence [Maroney] and all the other guys. It's going to be a good fit. And they have great defense that get you the ball back. When you weight all those options, for me it was a no brainer. We got the deal done quick. They said they would and that's why they are a first class organization that knows how to win. That's why it's easy to choose them."

Taylor may not be the main guy in New England, as he will likely share carries with Laurence Maroney and third down specialist Kevin Faulk, but the goal of a championship is enough for him to take on whichever role that he's called upon.

"They have a very smart organization across the board," Taylor said. "Coach Fears knows how to get the guys going. Meeting with him this past week, he really knows how to get the guys going. Whoever is hot, this team knows how to put up points. Obviously, they know what they're doing. The backs that they bring in there… They go in there blue collar and try to make some stuff happen. I have seen all of them on tape. They all run hard. Kevin – never been to a Pro Bowl, but he gets it done and helps the team win championships. So, those guys just want to work and I will be glad to fit in with that group. We can all compete and try to make the squad better."

Unlike former Jaguars tight end Kyle Brady, who blasted the Jacksonville organization after he bolted for New England in free agency a few years ago, Fred Taylor talked about his time as a Jaguar.

"Jacksonville was home the past 11 years," Taylor said glowingly. "There is no hiding it. I met a lot of people, made a lot of friends. The kids in that community - naturally I'm going to miss it. But, I do understand the business aspect of it all. It is just another chapter that closed and now it's time to start a new one and move forward. I told Mr. Weaver that after this is all said and done in a couple years, or whatever, I will personally call him and tell him I am ready to retire a Jaguar. But, as for now I have football to play for the Patriots and that's just part of the business."

Taylor also spoke fondly of the man who ultimately took his job, Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew.

"I think Maurice is going to do fine," Taylor said when asked about his former understudy. "He's been pretty much the bulk of the offense the past couple of years. He knows what to do with the football. He will lead that team. He is a fiery competitor. You can see it on tape – every time… He either hit somebody with a crush and blitz pickup or he's trying to run somebody over or break a tackle. He does it all – he catches the ball. I call him my young LT, as in LaDainian Tomlinson. He can do it just like LT can. So, he's ready to show it."

Taylor still remains close to Maurice Jones-Drew.

"I talk to Mo a lot," said Fred. "He's actually coming down to south Florida to start training next week, so we will get some workouts in together. Like I said, we have developed a great relationship. He's a great character person and I tell him never to lose that because the league can change you. I tell him to always be himself. He is very likeable. He's naturally outgoing. So, Mo's going to call me for advice and I'm going to give him all the advice I can give him until they come up to Foxboro this year."

When the Jaguars travel to Foxboro to face the Patriots this fall, many Jaguars fans will be torn. On one hand they'll be cheering for their team which is clad in teal, but it should be pretty much impossible for any Jags fan to not wish Fred Taylor luck and see him do well.


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