Polite Playmaker: Taywan Taylor Making Impact with Titans


NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Taywan Taylor is as polite as they come off the field.

Spend time around the Titans rookie and you'll discover he's a "yes, sir" and "no, sir" kind of guy, always accommodating, and respectful. Ask around about Taylor and you'll learn he soaks up as much as he can from his veteran teammates, and asks for extra time with coaches.

His Twitter handle fits him well: @SilentGrind2.

"He's a humble guy," Titans offensive coordinator Terry Robiskie said. "A hard-working, humble guy."

But on the field, he's no pushover.

"He's a dog now," Titans veteran Harry Douglas said of Taylor. "He's a dog on the field, make no mistake about that."

And he's a fast one.

Taylor, a third-round pick out of Western Kentucky, blew past Jaguars cornerback A.J. Bouye to make a diving 42-yard catch in Sunday's 37-16 win. The folks at Next Gen Stats, in fact, recorded Taylor with a speed of 21.44 on the play, which makes him the fastest recorded player in the NFL this season.

Taylor has three catches for 56 yards through two games. The Titans have also given him the ball on handoffs, something the team did during the preseason as well.

"He's fast," Titans coach Mike Mularkey said of Taylor. "He can get around the edge on you, he can get by you on a go route. The thing about him, which is rare for a rookie, I've told you this before, all the young guys want to be coached and want to do it the way we want to do it.

"That go route, Terry(Robiskie) is very adamant about those kind of routes, not looking for the ball too early, run 20 yards as fast as you can, run by guys. Most players look too early, their speed slows down because they're looking back, defensive guys can keep up with them or can get back what they lost, and he ran by right about 18-to-20 (yards), which we tell him he looked up and he had beaten him and Marcus (Mariota) had a great throw on it. Those are some things, for a young guy to do, which were impressive."

The highlight-reel play earned Taylor a nice reception on the sideline.

"They were loving it, saying: That was big time right there," Taylor said with a smile. "Big-time players make big-time plays, they told me. Marcus gave me a good ball and I wanted to go out there and make a play for the team. I want to make those kind of plays all the time."

Taylor was a ball magnet at Western Kentucky. The most prolific receiver in WKU history accumulated 253 career receptions for 4,234 yards and 41 touchdowns in four seasons, setting team records in both categories.

In 2016, Taylor set Hilltopper records with 98 catches, 1,730 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns.

In the NFL, he's already drawn some pretty nice comparisons.

"He reminds me of T.Y. Hilton," Titans cornerback Brice McCain said of Taylor during camp. "He reminds me of T.Y. just the way he moves his body, how he is so confident, but so quiet. I like that about him. He catches the ball well, and he doesn't panic. I love Taywan."

Mariota has called Taylor "dynamic."

Douglas, a 10-year veteran who is currently on Injured Reserve, on Monday raved about Taylor.

"Since he's gotten here he's done a great job of learning," Douglas said. "We've asked him to do multiple things, and he's done a great job of grasping the information. At the same time I think he is an unbelievable athlete. He can rush the ball, he can catch the ball, he can block. He can do everything you need to be successful in this league. He is a playmaker, man. He makes plays. He's humble, he listens and I love that about him."

Depending on the status of receiver Corey Davis, who is dealing with a hamstring injury, Taylor's playtime could increase this week.

Taylor played just six snaps in Week One against the Raiders, and 12 snaps against the Jaguars.

Taylor said he'll be ready.

"That's what I told coach from the get-go, day one when they drafted me: Whatever they need me to do, I am willing to do it," Taylor said. "I just want to try and help the team as much as I can."

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