Tyrod Taylor has been battling for starting jobs for the last several seasons, only to be replaced by a rookie quarterback in each of the last two years. But unless Davis Mills becomes an Offensive Rookie of the Year candidate and has an impressive training camp, Taylor will get an opportunity to be the Houston Texans’ starting quarterback for longer than three weeks.
With the uncertain future of Deshaun Watson due to legal problems, Taylor gets an opportunity he hasn’t had in years.
“I just knew it was an opportunity for me to be able to showcase what I can do,” Taylor said on a conference call with reporters at Texans minicamp Thursday. “Since I came into the league, I’ve always treated the job, and I think every quarterback should approach it this way, is just to prepare as the starter because at our position, you’re one play away. You never know when that opportunity will come. Regardless of how the roster looks, you have to come in and prepare as the starter each and every day. That gives yourself the best chance to go out and be successful, but it also gives your team the best chance to be successful throughout the year.”
Taylor isn’t short of experience as a starting quarterback, having been in the NFL for 10 years. In 72 career games — 47 as a starter — Taylor completed 61.41% of his passes for 9,770 yards with 54 touchdowns to just 18 interceptions and an 89.5 passer rating (24-21-1 record). Only 1.4% of Taylor’s passes have been intercepted, which is the same amount as Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes.
A sixth-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, Taylor is just one of four quarterbacks selected in 2011 still playing in the league (Cam Newton, Blaine Gabbert, and Andy Dalton are the others). Taylor was selected 145 spots after Dalton, and has shown he already knows how to overcome the odds of sticking in the league.
All Taylor wanted was the opportunity to revitalize his career. He’s getting that chance in Houston.
“I think the exciting thing about it is that guys want a fresh start. Guys want to be able to come in and compete. Guys want to be able to show what they can do, myself included,” Taylor said. “I think it’s a wonderful opportunity for me to be able to go out and lead. Of course, go make plays. Definitely, last year didn’t go the way that I would want it to, but those are out of my control. It’s an opportunity for me to be able to rebound and still play at a high level, which I know I can do.
“I’m excited to play with the talent that we have on the offensive side of the ball. Excited to line up and go against the defense in training camp and watch those guys fly around the ball during the season. More importantly, just excited to get out there and play. Like I said, last year was tough to process for a little bit, but it’s the reality of our game. You have to take the punches and continue to keep rolling. I’m more grateful than ever and just excited for the opportunity.”