Charley Taylor, Running Back Turned Hall of Fame Receiver, Dies at 80

Charley Taylor, Operating Again Turned Corridor of Fame Receiver, Dies at 80

Charley Taylor, the Corridor of Fame receiver who after 13 seasons enjoying for Washington retired with probably the most catches in professional soccer historical past, died on Saturday at an assisted residing facility in Virginia. He was 80.

The Washington Commanders announced the demise in a press release however didn’t specify the trigger.

Taylor was an All-American working again from Arizona State when he was drafted in 1964 by the Redskins, because the Washington soccer staff was then referred to as. He was quick however undisciplined, commonly outrunning his personal linemen within the backfield; nonetheless, he was named Rookie of the Yr.

Taylor had 53 receptions that 12 months, then a document for a working again. In 1966, Otto Graham, who took over as Washington’s coach at a time when the staff was a perennial loser, transformed Taylor right into a full-time receiver, hoping to make his energy and dexterity components within the open discipline.

Taylor, who as a teen had dreamed of emulating the powerhouse working again Jim Brown, initially resisted the change in his recreation this required. However then he found that beginning with the ball past the road of scrimmage suited his skill to juke and shift gears. After evading or overpowering cornerbacks, Taylor typically ran for lengthy positive aspects after a catch.

Reviewing his profession when he retired in 1978, The Washington Submit called Taylor “the person who had given extra complications to cornerbacks than any go catcher to play the sport.”

Throughout Taylor’s first season as a receiver, he led the league in receptions with 72 and served as the first choice of the longer term Corridor of Fame quarterback Sonny Jurgensen, who led the league in passing yards with 3,209. Over 10 years as teammates, the 2 grew to become one of many premier offensive duos in N.F.L. historical past.

Taylor helped propel Washington to constant profitable data within the early and mid-Nineteen Seventies, however the staff by no means managed to win a title. Within the 1972 playoffs, Washington dismantled the reigning champion Dallas Cowboys within the N.F.C. championship recreation, 26-3, with Taylor recording two landing receptions, together with one for 45 yards. Within the Tremendous Bowl, nevertheless, Washington misplaced to the undefeated Miami Dolphins.

Taylor held the profession document for receptions till Charlie Joiner of the San Diego Chargers surpassed him in 1984, the 12 months Taylor was inducted into the Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame. Taylor stays Washington’s profession chief in landing receptions, with 79, and he’s tied for the franchise’s single-season document for landing receptions, with 12. He made the Professional Bowl eight occasions and was on the Corridor of Fame’s All-1960s team.

Charles Robert Taylor was born on Sept. 28, 1941, in Grand Prairie, Texas. He was raised there by his mom, Myrtle, a chef, butcher and restaurant proprietor, and his stepfather, James Stevenson, who constructed airplane elements.

Charley was a star athlete at his segregated highschool, however he struggled to discover a school the place he might play soccer — collegiate groups in Texas had been nonetheless segregated — and he thought-about getting into the navy. As a substitute, his soccer profession was launched when a person who owned an area grocery retailer and had attended Arizona State organized a gathering between Charley and the varsity’s soccer coach, Frank Kush.

When Taylor entered the N.F.L., there have been no Black quarterbacks or coaches. After retiring, he set his ambitions on making historical past by turning into the primary Black head coach or basic supervisor. He spent 16 years working with the Redskins as a scout and coach, however he by no means ascended past an assistant place.

Taylor is survived by his spouse, Patricia (Grant) Taylor; their three kids, Elizabeth, Erica and Charles Jr.; and several other grandchildren.

Taylor didn’t have fun touchdowns with a standard spike. He held his arms aloft, soccer in hand, whereas trying pridefully across the discipline.

“It was type of a gesture stated, ‘I’ve achieved all I can do with the ball,’” Taylor defined in an interview with NFL Movies. “It was my approach of claiming, ‘I relaxation my case.’”

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