By Michael Hurley, CBS dangolka
dangolka (CBS) — Will undrafted rookie working again J.J. Taylor play a essential position in figuring out the destiny of the 2020 New England Patriots? In all probability not. However the great thing about this bizarre, mixed-up, unusual 2020 soccer season is that there aren’t any mistaken solutions, and there aren’t any identified entities.
So in the meanwhile, if you wish to go nuts in regards to the undersized scatback, then hey — go nuts.
On Tuesday morning, Patriots head coach Invoice Belichick was requested about Taylor. Particularly, he was requested if there are any hints of Mack Herron to Taylor’s sport. Ever the soccer historian, Belichick mentioned it woudln’t be truthful to attempt to throw these comparisons on Taylor’s shoulders only one week into his NFL profession. But the coach expressed how impressed he’s been with the undrafted rookie to this point.
“I don’t know if we all know sufficient about J.J. to make that comparability,” Belichick mentioned. “He’s performed in a single sport and he’s practiced. Mack was a returner and a runner and he caught the ball out of the backfield and was fast and laborious to sort out and tremendous productive and all that. I imply, we’ll see whether or not J.J. matches into these classes or not. I imply he actually would possibly. However till he has some manufacturing to go together with it, I believe that’s … Mack Herron’s a reasonably good soccer participant. I wouldn’t need to throw folks into that class till they’ve actually had a possibility to show themselves.”
Herron, when you’re unaware, accounted for two,087 yards from scrimmage and 15 offensive touchdowns on 415 touches from 1973-75. He additionally had a tick beneath 1,000 punt return yards on 84 returns, in addition to a tick beneath 2,000 kick return yards on 82 alternatives, taking one again for a 92-yard landing.
Taylor, in the meantime, has 28 dashing yards on 4 makes an attempt. A slight disparity. (Taylor rushed for 3,263 yards and 18 touchdowns whereas catching 62 passes for 487 yards and two extra touchdowns in his collegiate profession at Arizona. He additionally had 988 kick return yards and a landing on his 41 kick returns.)
“That’s actually nothing towards J.J.,” Belichick continued. “He’s executed all he can do so far. There’s not likely something extra that he may have executed. He’s on the market each day, he works laborious, he’s one of many hardest-working rookies, one of many hardest-working youngsters on the workforce. And I believe that’s proven up within the enchancment and the efficiency that he’s been capable of have by way of the course of coaching camp and now into the beginning of the common season. But it surely’s an extended approach to go. I’ll simply must see how he develops and whether or not he can proceed to enhance, and when he will get his alternatives to play, how productive he may be with these. However he’s earned what he’s gotten, so we’ll see what occurs.”
Certain we’ll. For now, let’s look again at Taylor’s motion from his NFL debut to get an thought of what sort of runner he could be.
Right here was Taylor’s first carry within the NFL, a reasonably primary inside handoff out of an I-formation that went for 4 yards.
Not a complete lot to glean from that one, however you’ll be able to see how he can use his small measurement to his benefit by ducking beneath the timber and burrowing his manner up the sector.
Taylor’s second contact got here within the third quarter, when he displayed some super focus to haul in a go that was tipped by Shaq Lawson. As soon as he caught it, Taylor had two Dolphins to take care of within the open area, so it went for only a four-yard acquire.
That play kick-started a sequence of Taylor motion, as he obtained handoffs on the following two snaps.
The primary one went for eight yards, and there have been two features to actually like about it. For one, he noticed a gap and he confirmed completely no hesitation earlier than bursting proper by way of it. Secondly, he completed the run not by making an attempt to bop round a defender however as a substitute by making an attempt to run by way of him.
Relating to undersized backs within the Patriots’ system, comparisons to Dion Lewis will probably be unavoidable. And among the many many elements of Lewis’ sport that stood out was his means to complete runs by bowling over unsuspecting defenders. That end by Taylor was proper out of that ebook.
There may be not an excessive amount of to say about Taylor’s subsequent carry, which got here on the next snap. He as soon as once more adopted his blocks, fearlessly burst into the center of the sector and picked up 5 yards.
The teaching workers saved him on the sector for this drive, and he was given a go safety position on the next snap. It didn’t go nice …
… however no working again can cease two unblocked go rushers. On this case, a veteran quarterback like Cam Newton knew that some rushers can be breaking in, so he fired his go rapidly. The go was full to N’Keal Harry, adequate to maneuver the chains for a contemporary set of downs.
Taylor then obtained a fast breather, as Josh McDaniels dialed up that halfback go that by no means actually materialized. However then the ball went proper again to Taylor, who turned in his greatest run of the day:
That one was well-blocked, clearly, but it surely’s not as if there was a gaping gap for Taylor to use. He managed to maintain his eyes up area, reducing again to discover a crease simply huge sufficient for him to burst by way of. He broke a sort out on the line after which was off into the second stage, tightly securing the soccer whereas ending off what was a totally spectacular run.
Taylor wouldn’t get one other carry, however his viability as a runner seemingly contributed to the Dolphins’ protection biting so badly on play-action on the play that got here to be identified solely as The N’Keal Harry Fumble Play.
All in all, it’s a reasonably stable debut for a participant who’s behind some well-established veterans on the depth chart. He wasn’t capable of actually present what sort of elusiveness he may need within the open area, however he was additionally given 4 inside handoffs whereas making an attempt to only get his toes moist whereas going towards NFL defenses.
Contributions like that ought to be certain that regardless of that crowded backfield, the 5-foot-6 Taylor will proceed to carve out a job on this new-look Patriots offense.
You possibly can electronic mail Michael Hurley or discover him on Twitter @michaelFhurley.