Aug 24, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; San Diego Chargers defensive back Brandon Taylor (28) against the Minnesota Vikings at the Metrodome. The Chargers defeated the Vikings 12-10. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Taylor Back At Practice, And Hopeful For 2014

Ricky Henne of Chargers.com recently posted this article, regarding Brandon Taylor’s return. It has been ages since we have had even the slightest update regarding his status. We all thought he would play at some point last season. Instead, he remained inactive for the duration of 2013. Rumors surrounded the young man’s future on the team. On Darren Smith’s show on XX 1090 last year, Pagano insinuated that Taylor wasn’t up to speed, and that he was too far behind Marcus Gilchrist, and Jahleel Addae.

As we now know, he suffered a setback with his ACL rehabilitation, and wasn’t able to heal up in time to get into football shape. It was unknown if  Taylor would be ready for camp this year, as the Chargers have been extremely tight-lipped about his condition. Well, it appears we have an answer (sort of). The article doesn’t come right out and say that he is, or will be, 100% ready to go. But, he is back on the horse, and has been training hard while he has been out of commission.

I have had a couple very frustrating years, but I have a lot of good support around here. These players, coaches, training staff and also my parents have all helped me keep my head in the game. My coaches have been great. I couldn’t ask for anything more. They’ve supported me every day no matter where I was. If I was in the training room they’d come in and check on me. At practice they stayed on me every day, and when I wasn’t playing they made sure I stayed in the game mentally. They’ve helped me get strong and better, and I appreciate that.

He also had this to say about what his expectations are for the 2014 season:

I am looking forward to this season a lot because this is a big year for me. Everyone says the third season is a big season for a player. It feels good to be out there for these practices because I’m back doing what I want to do, which is be a competitive player. I’m practicing and running the plays. I feel real good, but I still have a ways to go. It’s a process, so I’m just taking it day by day.

Here are his thoughts about how OTA’s are going:

We’ve had some real good practices. We’re coming together as a team. We’re starting off fast and making a lot of plays on both sides of the ball. Even though there is no contact, that is what you want to see. You want to see that good competition from everyone, because that is how you get better. So I’m very excited. This is football, and you’ve got to love it!

Sorry to “re-quote” straight from the article, but we have heard literally NOTHING from him for practically a year! So, I don’t mind putting it all out there, in case you don’t feel like clicking on the link to the Chargers article above. If I’m not mistaken, it sounds like he could be healthy, and back at practice. It would be HUGE for our secondary, if he can come in and compete at a high level.

As I said, you can’t tell what level he is practicing at, right now. But, it’s nice to see that the kid is out there with the team. He’s definitely doing some kind of on-field activities, even if it isn’t full participation. With the lack of production at the position last season (except for Addae at the end), it will be a welcome sight to see more competition for the starting position.

At the end of the day, Taylor was the highest rated strong safety that the Chargers have drafted in quite a while. He played well in a good LSU program, and was a team Captain. If he can get healthy, and make the impact we were hoping he would have in our backfield, we could be in for a treat in 2014. Having a Taylor / Addae combo would patch one of the biggest weaknesses that the secondary had in 2013. Furthermore, they are both young, and hungry.

I will be cheering for him to keep his roster spot, and keep Gilchrist at the nickel cornerback position, where he is most effective. Keep an eye out for Taylor’s return during camp, and during the preseason. With a little luck, we could have two starting caliber strong safeties come September.

Keep Bolting Toward Excellence!

Peter Thompson

 

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