Ryan Taylor Green Bay Packers 2013 Evaluation and Report Card
1) Introduction: When fans think of a career special teams player, they typically balk at the idea. After all, the Packers (especially one lauded for its depth the last couple years), should be filled with potential stars, not guys who will be replaced and forgotten in a year. However, Packers fans should know that special teams player can make a difference, just look at Desmond Howard or even Jarrett Bush, sure he isn’t all that good as a cornerback but he is really good at his primary job, which is as a gunner on special teams. Ryan Taylor fits in the same mold, while his skills at tight end have yet to surface, there are spots on the team for a stud special teams player like Taylor was billed to be after getting drafted, the question is: is he any good at special teams in the NFL?
Ryan Lawrence Taylor
- Age: 26
- Born: 11/16/1987 in Winston-Salem, NC
- Height: 6’3″
- Weight: 254
- College: North Carolina
- Rookie Year: 2011
- NFL Experience: 3
3) Expectations coming into the season: Moderately low. Taylor has been largely invisible during his 3 year career, being mostly relegated to special teams play, which was likely the reason Taylor was drafted in the first place since Taylor played most of his college football as a linebacker, only really switching to tight end for his last season with the Tar Heels. That being said, Taylor has not exactly done much on special teams in the NFL; while he hasn’t been a liability on special teams, he also hasn’t made much of an impact, so he’s sort of the quintessential “just a guy” football player that often comprises the bottom third of a football team. However, with the expiring contracts of both Jermichael Finley and Andrew Quarless, the Packers were likely hoping to see some improvement in Taylor that could perhaps justify moving him up to the backup tight end position; Taylor has had some very nice offseason/preseason performances and the hope would have been that he could build a little upon that and become a rotational/part time tight end for the Packers.
4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: Not much to speak of in either regard, Taylor had a largely forgettable season as he was largely invisible on offense and didn’t really stand out on special teams, again he isn’t Jarrett Bush, who has made a career out of special teams play, but he also isn’t Davon House, who was one of the worst special teams players in the league this year and got slapped with 3 penalties to boot. If one was to force the issue, Taylor’s highlight would probably be against Minnesota in week 12 where he recorded 2 tackles on special teams while his lowlight would be in week 3 against Cincinnati where he was penalized once.
5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: Low. Again Taylor wasn’t really much more than “Just a guy”, logging in 176 snaps over the season (essentially the same as Brandon Bostick), but not really making much out of his opportunities; Taylor recorded 5 receptions for a total of 30 yards and no touchdowns while Bostick recorded essentially the same amount of receptions (7) but made off with 120 yards and a touchdown. On special teams, Taylor’s presumed specialty, Taylor didn’t really stand out in either regard, which is an issue for a “career” special teams player like Taylor was likely drafted for. Overall, Taylor played slightly below average the entire season, which while probably not hurting the Packers chances of winning significantly overall still doesn’t make the team better. Perhaps more importantly, even with the loss of Jermichael Finley, Randall Cobb and various injuries to the receiving core as a whole, Taylor was unable to capitalize on his opportunity; arguably Taylor had as much rapport with Aaron Rodgers as Jarrett Boykin did this season, but Boykin is now looked upon as a player of the future while Taylor is still “just a guy”
6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: Taylor played 8 snaps on offense and did not log any meaningful statistics. On special teams Taylor recorded one tackle but again did not really make his presence known.
Season Report Card:
(C-) Level of expectations met during the season
(D) Contributions to team’s overall success.
(F) Contributions to team during the playoffs
Overall Grade: D-——————
Thomas Hobbes is a staff writer for Jersey Al’s AllGreenBayPackers.com.