The Houston Texans’ Tyrod Taylor has the kind of career that would make most people wonder if they ever had a chance to make it to the NFL. He was only the fourth quarterback drafted in 2009, he’s now made it to the Pro Bowl three times, and he’s currently playing for a team with a long history of success. But, Taylor is more focused on “control what you can control” rather than worrying about how big his legacy will be.
“Control what you can control”
The Houston Texans signed Tyrod Taylor this offseason, so now the obvious question is, what will Taylor have to do to help the team win? Taylor says there are few things he can control about his job, so he makes the most of what he can. Taylor ran for 1,000 yards last season, which was the fourth time he has reached that milestone. Taylor also hit the 10,000-yard passing mark for the fifth time in his career, which is impressive considering he only played three full seasons in the NFL. Taylor is well aware that his performance will play a big role in the Texans’ chances of winning.
HOUSTON, Texas — Pharaoh Brown, a tight end, saw quarterback Tyrod Taylor coming out of the weight room in Cleveland in 2018.
Taylor was forced to leave the Browns’ Week 3 Thursday night game with a concussion, a game in which rookie Baker Mayfield took over with the club down 14-0 and won for the first time since 2016. Despite the Browns’ announcement that Taylor would be their starting quarterback that season, Mayfield performed well enough to keep his position.
Brown had a question for the starter-turned-backup quarterback as he went by.
“I was like, ‘Dang, dude,’” says the narrator. How do you manage to be so cheerful and cheerful every day at work?”
Brown, who is now again teammates with Taylor in Houston, where Taylor is set to start against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, was taken aback by Taylor’s answer.
Brown stated, “No matter what happens, you have to come in and perform your job and do what they pay you to do.” “And I always remember it, so even when I faced hardship, it was just like, ‘control what you can control,’ and come to work and everything would take care of itself,” says the author.
One of the reasons Texans coach David Culley, who was Taylor’s position coach in Buffalo in 2017, wanted the 32-year-old when he came over this summer was because of his work ethic and attitude.
In 2021, quarterback Tyrod Taylor will play for the sixth time in eight years. Getty Images/Bob Levey
“You always want that person to be the first man in and the last one out as a quarterback,” Culley said. “He’s the one. He’s been that person his whole life. When he was a backup in Baltimore, he was that guy. He constantly worked as if he were the lead player. There was no difference when he took over as starter.
“He’s a winner, a leader, and precisely the kind of quarterback you want taking snaps from the center and guiding your football team.”
Since being dealt by the Buffalo Bills in 2018, Taylor’s career may seem snake-bitten. After starting 43 games for Buffalo from 2015 to 2017, he has only started four games in the last three seasons, owing to injury. However, as he prepares for his 11th NFL season and a chance to play a complete season for the first time since leading the Bills to the playoffs in 2017, Taylor has adopted the “control what you can control” mentality, which he acquired from his last two stints in the league.
“If anything, playing during the COVID-19 epidemic last year showed us everyone, not just athletes, that your health is extremely important, first and foremost to yourself, certainly, but also to others,” Taylor said. “It also taught us that you must be prepared for change at all times.”
Taylor is well-versed in the concept of change.
2018 in Cleveland
Taylor was acquired by the Browns on May 9, 2018, the same day Deshon Kizer, Cleveland’s 2017 starting quarterback, was dealt to the Green Bay Packers. Cleveland, on the other hand, had taken Mayfield with the first overall selection in the 2018 draft.
Drew Stanton, who was in the Browns’ quarterback room with Taylor and Mayfield that season, said it was always the intention for Taylor to be the starter.
Tyrod Taylor Has Began Playing in NFL Games
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“That room was unusual in the sense that you had a first-round selection, but they were going to try to make the squad as good as they could before throwing Baker out there because of some of the problems they had,” Stanton said.
Taylor, a sixth-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens in 2011, was regarded in Buffalo as a high-character player, and the Browns felt he was the perfect man to assist with the transition.
Taylor started the Browns’ first three games, including a draw with the Steelers in their first non-losing season opener since 2004. Then there was the tight defeat in New Orleans the next week, which Taylor believes Cleveland “should have won,” and the Jets game, when Mayfield took over after Taylor sustained his third concussion in 13 months.
Taylor remained the first person in the building in the mornings, according to Stanton, and his attitude “didn’t alter at all.”
Stanton remarked, “That’s what impressed me the most.” “I said, ‘Look, everyone’s looking at you.’ I admire you so much for the way you’ve handled yourself.’
“And I had a lot of respect for him before that, and I was just astounded by how [Tyrod]… continued to approach it as if he were the starter. Even so, he arrived sooner than the rest of the group. He was still doing everything, and he was still extremely interested and engaged.”
Taylor said that losing his job in the manner in which he did was “difficult to take,” but that “that’s simply how the dice rolls” sometimes.
“At that moment, my attitude had to change to, ‘How can I assist my team be better?’” Taylor remarked. “… It was difficult to lose the position after that. But I believe that everything that has occurred in my career up to this point has prepared me and enabled me to have a clear headspace to approach any challenge with the correct attitude and a positive perspective, and to just concentrate on being the best person I can be in any situation.”
2019-2020 Los Angeles
Taylor signed a two-year contract with the Los Angeles Chargers, despite the Browns’ desire for him to return to Cleveland in 2019. Taylor was named the starting quarterback for the 2020 season after waiting behind Philip Rivers in his last season with the club.
A young quarterback was waiting once again. The idea was for Taylor to start when Justin Herbert was selected with the No. 6 overall selection in that year’s draft. Taylor’s time as the starter, though, was cut short once again.
Tyrod Taylor only started one game for the Chargers before being sent to the hospital with a perforated lung. USA TODAY Sports/Joseph Maiorana
During the Chargers’ season-opening victory against the Cincinnati Bengals, Taylor fractured two of his ribs on the first offensive drive. He completed the game and was gearing up for a divisional showdown with the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs in Week 2. However, shortly before kickoff, a Chargers team doctor attempted to give Taylor a pain-killing shot and inadvertently perforated Taylor’s lung.
“Everything was sort of weird how it happened,” Taylor remarked. “It was a bit more severe than the concussion I had in Cleveland,” says the author. More importantly, once that occurred, I had to change my focus to, ‘Is everything going to be okay?’ first.”
Taylor needed to go to the hospital because he was having trouble breathing. Herbert got the start in that game, as well as the remainder of the season. After that, he was named Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Taylor turned his focus once again to teaching the rookie quarterback who stepped in while he was hurt.
Despite the fact that Taylor has “no ill feelings” about what occurred in Los Angeles, the way his Chargers career ended has become a source of inspiration for him.
“You learn from it and go on,” Taylor said. “I’m not a believer in clinging to stuff. I’m simply glad and appreciative for the chance to lace on the cleats, put on the helmet, and go out and create plays, like I previously said.
“However, I am more driven than I have ever been.”
Hours before the first complaint was filed against incumbent starting Deshaun Watson, Taylor agreed to a contract with the Texans, his sixth club in the last eight seasons. Since that March day, 22 additional civil complaints alleging sexual assault and improper conduct have been filed against the Texans quarterback (one was withdrawn).
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Knowing Watson had sought a trade and didn’t want to play for Houston again, Taylor’s task got much more tough, even if it provided him with a clearer route to a starting position.
And, although Davis Mills was not a first-round selection (he was the Texans’ first pick in the third round), there is a rookie quarterback behind Taylor, one who some in the organization feel must play at some time in order for the Texans to have a clearer idea of his future. This time, Mills isn’t necessarily regarded as the franchise’s future, but Houston would undoubtedly want to know whether he has a shot to be.
Texans linebacker Christian Kirksey claimed Taylor is still the “same person” he played with in Cleveland in 2018.
Kirksey stated, “I felt he was already a polished vet, a polished quarterback, and he’s just playing more and more confidently.” “That’s the most striking feature I see about him. But he’s always been that calm, composed leader.”
It didn’t take long for that leadership to pervade the Texans locker room, which now includes Watson, who reported to training camp to avoid a $50,000 daily fine and now attends meetings but didn’t take a single team rep during the open sessions.
Running back Phillip Lindsay stated, “Tyrod is definitely one of the best guys in the locker room and one of the best leaders I’ve ever seen.”
Center “The way he comes into the huddle every play,” Justin Britt said, he can see the chip Taylor carries on his shoulder.
With Watson on the 53-man roster, Taylor begins his first season with the Texans, a squad that many outside the building anticipate to end with a top-5 selection. However, many who know Taylor today believe that the unusual situations he has encountered throughout his career have prepared him for the unique position he is in in Houston.
Britt added, “I feel like he’s gotten the short end of the stick in his career the past several years and he’s hungry.”
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