Fred Taylor hasn’t played since Week Four, but it sounds like he’s gearing up for a dramatic return against his former team. To kick off the week, Taylor has engaged in some back-and-forth with his old coach, Jack Del Rio.
In a wide-ranging interview with Michael C. Wright of the Florida Times-Union Monday, Taylor was exceedingly positive about his time in Jacksonville. But one comment caught the attention of Del Rio and got him talking Tuesday.
Taylor said the Patriots spend more time watching film than the Jaguars did.
“Fred’s always been a great interview,” Del Rio said. “I saw that and thought that was really, really great. He
pointed out that the leadership there shows the way. I think he’s
referring to veteran players. So that’s what we’re looking to instill
in our veteran players. Evidently, he wasn’t that veteran leader here
having our guys watch the tape.”
Asked for his response, Taylor stuck to his guns: “I can’t help it if it’s true,” Taylor said. He added that he regretted not doing more in Jacksonville to help bring home a ring.
Del Rio was surely saying the comment with tongue in cheek, but Taylor’s matchup against his former franchise adds drama to a huge game, especially for the Jaguars.
The Patriots have a history of ending Jacksonville’s season. They knocked them out of the playoffs in 2005 and 2007, and beat them in Jacksonville in Week Sixteen of the 2006 season season to end the Jaguars’ playoff hopes.
Taylor is uncertain to play, but old teammate Maurice Jones-Drew is picking up vibes that Taylor will return. It makes sense: Taylor has picked up his practice schedule of late, and the Patriots will want to get him back into the playing mix before the playoffs.
Del Rio’s comments may make this one even tougher for Taylor to sit out.