View Full Version : Chiefs Babb: Though just a temp for Chiefs, Taylor hopes to make lasting impression

Tribal Warfare
08-19-2008, 10:41 PM

Though just a temp for Chiefs, Taylor hopes to make lasting impression
The Kansas City Star

Herb Taylor is trying to absorb it all, feel his way around the way he did before he had eye surgery, hoping like crazy he’ll be perfect on game day.

Taylor is still learning the game and its speed, the way things happen when you’re the Chiefs’ starting left tackle — even if it is a temp job.

“Anytime you make a mistake out there,” Taylor said Tuesday, “in my mind, it’s a big mistake. Everybody sees it, and then the quarterback is depending on you, too.”

Taylor is filling in for Branden Albert, the Chiefs’ first-round pick who sprained his foot the first full week of training camp and is likely to miss the entire preseason. Herm Edwards won’t say when Albert might play. Even if he’s healthy by the regular-season opener, he’ll have to work his way back into shape, which could take more time. So that means Taylor’s performance in his temp job becomes more important the longer Albert stays out.

Taylor said he’s learning. He’s trying to master the footwork and where to put his hands when the ball is snapped. There are bruises associated with his education, and already he’s jammed his right hand, which caused Taylor to wince Tuesday when someone shook his hand.

“The life of an offensive lineman,” he says, stretching his fingers on that hand.

That life also includes the certainty that when Albert is healthy, Taylor no longer will be in the Chiefs’ starting lineup.

He was Kansas City’s sixth-round draft pick last year, and he was chosen to be a backup but also to infuse last year’s aging line with some youth.

The 6-foot-3, 295-pounder is undersized by today’s left tackle standards. But Edwards said Taylor could play on the right side. Starting right tackle Damion McIntosh is 31, and the Chiefs have begun looking toward the player who might replace McIntosh for the long term.

“That’s the great thing about this situation,” left guard Brian Waters said. “We feel like we’re finding a third tackle, a third starter in Herb. As the season goes on, you want to have that. You want to feel like no matter what, if you need to plug him in at left or right, you can do that and feel comfortable.”

All this, and Taylor spent the offseason preparing for life after football. He might return to Houston after he’s finished playing and become a high school coach. Or maybe he’ll do something with his advertising and public relations degree from Texas Christian University. He knows his ride won’t last forever, and he likes having options, should the game be finished with him before he’s finished with it.

He had corrective surgery during the offseason to improve his eyesight and then spent part of the offseason in an eight-week internship that centered on financial responsibility and diversification. Taylor’s mother, Maxine Davis, is a banker in Texas, and she taught him early how to balance a checkbook. He had his first account in ninth grade, and he didn’t bounce a check until that one time he got busy his senior year at TCU and realized too late that he had overdrawn his account.

“You kind of want to learn how to keep yourself in check,” he said.

Taylor said the financial oversight taught him that even though mistakes happen, that doesn’t mean they should be repeated. He said he had applied the same principles to football, where if he makes one mistake — Chicago Bears defensive end Alex Brown beat Taylor two weeks ago and tackled Larry Johnson for a one-yard loss — repeating it has consequences. He hasn’t allowed a sack or a tackle for loss since that mistake, which occurred in the second quarter.

“He’s come a long way,” Edwards said.

Edwards said he didn’t know when Albert might return. He’s been hanging around the practice field this week, testing his bad foot and keeping an eye on the offensive line he’s expected to anchor.

Until then, Taylor is filling in and trying to prove to coaches he’s more than just a temporary fill-in.

“You have to focus on success,” he said. “Hopefully, every day I’m getting better. It’s slow progress, but slow progress I have to get on real quick.”

Tribal Warfare
08-19-2008, 10:42 PM
Herb's lovin dem bitches!!!!!!!!!!