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Fred Taylor Targets Jim Brown

As Hall of Famer Franco Harris moved closer to Jim Brown’s career rushing yardage, which at the time was the most in NFL history, Brown threatened to come out of retirement.
As chronciled in Mike Freeman’s biography of Brown, the man who gained 12,312 yards in only nine seasons (four of which had only twelve games and five of which had 14) didn’t like Franco’s style.
“Why would a 230-pound man run out of bounds?” Brown once said, per Freeman’s book.  “Why is everyone dancing, mugging for the camera?  Where’s the danger in the game?  Where are the characters and the warriors?  You talk about records.  Why even compare me to Franco?  He played thirteen years, I played nine.  He played something like fifty more games.  Man gets four strikes to my three, where’s the significance?  My performance spoke for itself.  I don’t want to hear any shit about Franco.”
Well, Jim Brown has another guy on his tail.
According to Vito Stellino of the Florida Times-Union (via Mike Reiss of the Boston Globe), former Jaguars and current Patriots tailback Fred Taylor wants to catch Brown’s career total, which has been surpassed over the years by eleven men — none of whom are named Franco Harris.
I’ve always said I wanted to catch Jim Brown,” Taylor said.
“Whether I do or don’t, it’s been great playing in the NFL for this long.  When you look at the average life span, things that I’ve gone through throughout my career with injuries. . . .  I’ve just got to keep moving forward.  Whatever I end with, I’ll take it.”
Taylor has 11,271 yards in eleven NFL seasons, playing in 140 total games.  So he needs 1,041 yards to tie Brown.
To get there, Taylor has been working out with his new teammates in New England, despite skipping some voluntary workouts during his final years with the Jaguars.
As Taylor continues to approach Brown’s mark, we doubt that the man who is still arguably the best running back in NFL history will talk about unretirement this time around.
But maybe he’ll challenge Taylor to a 40-yard dash.

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29 Responses to “Fred Taylor Targets Jim Brown”
  1. BillyShears says: May 24, 2009 12:29 PM

    The only time Fred Taylor would be mentioned in the same sentence as Jim Brown might be something like, “Look there’s Jim Brown, without doubt the #1 player in NFL history and look Fred Taylor is polishing his shoes and washing his car”.

  2. Alpheratz says: May 24, 2009 12:43 PM

    Jim is the best running back of all time regardless of whether he is or isn’t a royal asshole off the field.

  3. tv says: May 24, 2009 12:46 PM

    I seriously doubt that Brown will have a problem with Taylor passing him. Taylor is not shy about hitting people and played most of his career with one injury or another.
    And Brown is totally on the mark with Franco. Franco was a big pussy! He left more yards on the field (by running out of bounds) than any “significant” RB in the history of the NFL. PUSSY!!

  4. Favre2012 says: May 24, 2009 12:48 PM

    Jim Brown was a beast but he’s really bitchy for a grown man. Just because he whines in a gravelly voice doesn’t mean he’s not whining. He wears his weird colorful hats and talks about social issues as if he’s more than just a big dude who ran over people carrying a football.

  5. snivlem says: May 24, 2009 1:05 PM

    Lost in this post is the fact that Jim Brown admires Freddy T more than any other back in the game. He has mentioned that on a couple of occasions. Jim Brown respects Fred Taylor’s playing style and ability, and I think respects his desire to reach the milestone he set.
    As a big Jags fan, I wish Freddy all the luck in the world in N.E.
    But now, Mr. MOJO is risin’!
    (and watch out for Rashad Jennings!)

  6. snivlem says: May 24, 2009 1:07 PM

    “Don’t know nothin’ about no Fred Taylor, do you?” Jim Brown said. “Fred Taylor’s the package. Fred Taylor’s a man.”

  7. mborz says: May 24, 2009 1:11 PM

    Florio, did you know that the reason Harris ran out of bounds so much was because he had injuries to both shoulders that the Steelers failed to disclose?

  8. David G. says: May 24, 2009 1:17 PM

    “Arguably” the best running back in NFL history?
    “Inarguably” would have been a better word choice.

  9. jjared1101 says: May 24, 2009 1:17 PM

    I struggled to find a reference, but i remember seeing an interview with Jim Brown in which he said his favorite running back to watch was Fred Taylor. I’m sure Jim Brown won’t mind seeing Taylor pass him (If he does).

  10. Favre2012 says: May 24, 2009 1:18 PM

    “only nine seasons (three of which had only twelve games and four of which had 14)”
    I’m pretty sure Brown played four 12 game seasons and five 14 game seasons.

  11. jjared1101 says: May 24, 2009 1:19 PM

    Who do you really like among today’s running backs, Jim?” I asked, expecting to hear the normal and quite reasonable litany of Priest Holmes, Marshall Faulk, and Ricky Williams, a soupcon of Jamal Lewis, perhaps a dash of Ahman Green, a pinch of A-Train Thomas, any and all in no particular order.
    “Fred Taylor,” Jim Brown muttered.
    “Don’t know nothin’ about no Fred Taylor, do you?” Jim Brown said. “Fred Taylor’s the package. Fred Taylor’s a man. He’s got a few miles on him now, but did you see that game-winning run? Did you see the 360 he did in the backfield before he ever got to that rookie, Whatshisname?”

  12. bacardilvr says: May 24, 2009 1:24 PM

    I’ve read and heard numerous interviews where Jim Brown makes it known that out of all the running backs in the league, he likes Fred Taylor the most. He feels Fred gets injured so frequently because he is so fearless; he doesn’t mind putting a shoulder into a defender. So, the angle where Jim is gonna be angry about being passed by Taylor is only a figment of the imagination.

  13. Mike Florio says: May 24, 2009 1:28 PM

    @favre2012 . . .
    you are right. i misread the record and fact book. the AFL debuted with 14 games in 1960, but the NFL didn’t increase from 12 to 14 until 1961.

  14. SixburghDynasty says: May 24, 2009 1:37 PM

    Hey Jim, how many championships did you win?
    Being the best RB ever doesn’t mean you have to be a dick and tear down a pretty god back in Franco Harris.
    And Taylor couldn’t hold Harris’ jock.

  15. DavidInTexas says: May 24, 2009 1:47 PM

    Anyone who questions the opinion that Jim Brown is the GREATEST running back in the history of football, just doesn’t understand one damned thing about the game.
    And Franco Harris was a punk on the field. A typical Pittsburgh Nancy-Boy…

  16. Michael_15_Crabtree says: May 24, 2009 2:40 PM

    so if fred taylor played in Jim Browns time, he would have about 8000 yards (do the math)

  17. MarkB says: May 24, 2009 2:59 PM

    If Fred Taylor was playing in Jim Brown’s time, he’d be playing against 240 lb defensive linemen who worked as car salemen in the offseason. THIS Fred Taylor would kill a lot of those guys when he hit them.

  18. vegas42 says: May 24, 2009 3:20 PM

    Jim Brown was one of the best all time RBs, and may very well be the all-time greatest. However, saying that “anyone who does not automatically agree he is undoubtedly the all time greatest does not know football” is a ridiculous statement. Off the top of my head, I’d say an argument could be made for Barry Sanders, but that may be a stretch. However, I’d say Walter Payton definitely is in the discussion alongside Jim Brown. Anyone who automatically discounts Sweetness….I would question that person’s football knowledge….

  19. Real Football Fan says: May 24, 2009 3:36 PM

    Just don’t type “arguably,” the best RB of all time from now on. The conversation begins and ends with jim Brown.

  20. trickbunny says: May 24, 2009 5:37 PM

    None of today’s running backs will “catch” Jim Brown unless they amass the amount of yards he had ***in the same amount of games or less***. If someone gets 13,000 yards, but takes 9, 10, 11 years to do it with 16-game seasons, then it’s not nearly the same accomplishment that Brown had.
    After all, Brown was still in excellent shape when he retired and could have played a few more years had the acting bug not bit him. If dude had stayed in a couple more years, he would probably have had 16,000…

  21. joetoronto says: May 24, 2009 7:32 PM

    “Why would a 230-pound man run out of bounds?” Brown once said, per Freeman’s book. “Why is everyone dancing, mugging for the camera? Where’s the danger in the game? Where are the characters and the warriors? You talk about records. Why even compare me to Franco? He played thirteen years, I played nine. He played something like fifty more games. Man gets four strikes to my three, where’s the significance? My performance spoke for itself. I don’t want to hear any shit about Franco.”
    ============================================================
    Right on, Mr Brown, right on.
    Franco really should have been called Franca.

  22. kaakwha says: May 24, 2009 8:04 PM

    @Favre2012 says
    He wears his weird colorful hats and talks about social issues as if he’s more than just a big dude who ran over people carrying a football.
    ——————————————————
    He IS more than just a big dude who ran over people.
    If you had any interest, you could look up all the social issues he’s tackled over the years. He is a big man and an important man, especially in the black community. He dropped out of the game in his prime and could have upped to record to where maybe only “Sweetness” could have caught him. I respect his individuality and social conscience and I like “colorful” hats.
    Best of all time is easy. Look at things like yards per game or yards per carry. Then see where Jim Brown ranks, compared to lesser greats like Sanders. Franco Harris?? Fugetaboutit.

  23. Darth Ringo says: May 25, 2009 12:30 AM

    Good story, I’d never heard about the dust up between Jim Brown and Franco Harris before.

  24. korbot says: May 25, 2009 1:24 AM

    Jim Brown retired 44 years ago. He was dominant then because he was the first of the modern professional football players at the time. He would be average to above average now. It’s a completely different game. Maybe making comparisons between Brown and Harris was relevant in the 70s. It’s completely irrelevant now to compare Brown to current players. Would you compare LeBron James to Jerry West? It doesn’t compute.
    Yap all you want about Brown’s dominance. You’re dating yourself, just like all the old farts on the NFL channel’s Top 10 lists.

  25. TheAzzMan says: May 25, 2009 1:35 AM

    If Franco actually read this, he would probably be smiling while wearing his 4 Super Bowl rings and Hall of Fame ring in perfectly good health.

  26. tv says: May 25, 2009 8:19 AM

    Hey SixburghDynasty – Leave it to a Pixberg Stiller fan to “assume” that Cleve has never won a championship. Brown won one, with Cleveland, in 1964.
    Jackass!

  27. empty13 says: May 25, 2009 9:48 AM

    brown is a wifebeater. that gets glossed over because he is black and gives “so much” to the community.
    he was damn good, but only bagged one championship. he was big. size him like most of the other backs of that day… and not so many yards would have happened. cleveland also played in the weak division of the nfl, and didnt always look so good in it. but they did win one championship, drubbing the “heavily favored colts” kinda like the jets would also do, later on.
    i like all this “he quit in his prime” talk. no, he didnt. he quit because he wasnt going to keep beating out leroy kelly to start, people.
    pre brown: 50-56. 6 straight division championships and nfl championship game appearances, 3 championships. dont get me started on the aafc years (4 years, 4 championships). the browns had a decade the steelers can only dream about.
    brown: 57-65. 4 playoff appearances, 1 loss in division chapionship game, 3 championship game appearances, 1 championship.
    the star system isnt all it is cracked up to be.

  28. radneck says: May 25, 2009 1:58 PM

    Jim Brown is the greatest running back to play the game. Period. But the way he’s acted since leaving the game makes me wonder if he didn’t trade his jock strap in for a tampon.

  29. brownsn2027 says: May 26, 2009 2:49 PM

    Favre2012 says:
    May 24th, 2009 at 12:48 pm
    Jim Brown was a beast but he’s really bitchy for a grown man. Just because he whines in a gravelly voice doesn’t mean he’s not whining.
    ——————–
    ^ this from a Favre fan — rotflmfao

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