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faced adversity and

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Dołączył: 11 Paź 2017
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PostWysłany: Pon Lis 06, 2017 3:03 am    Temat postu: faced adversity and Odpowiedz z cytatem

of Trina and
FOR AS LONG as Taylor can remember, he wanted to play quarterback. His father, Rodney, put a football in his hands when he was a toddler; by the time he was 6, he could throw perfect spirals, his little fingers guiding the arc of the ball the way a musical prodigy draws melodies out of an instrument. He wasn't particularly fast -- "I ran like I had lead in my shoes," he says -- but throwing came naturally, and he gravitated toward the passing role. His idols were Steve Young and Warren Moon.

"Quarterbacks," he says.While Benjamin has battled injuries, his upside is undeniable, and the Bills' decision to bolster Taylor's arsenal suggests that the organization believes that the team is a legitimate contender this year. But does it mean they believe in their quarterback? Standing near his locker during the bye week, Taylor, as mild-mannered as ever, declines to speculate about where he'll be playing in 2018. Even with the Bills poised for a possible playoff run, he knows how hard it will be for him to succeed in the eyes of many, and what it could mean if he does. "The story of my career -- my life -- has been proving myself," he says.
Taylor grew up in Hampton, Virginia, the only child of Trina and Rodney. His father, who towed cars, was born with one arm shorter than the other, which made it difficult for him to grip a ball. He played running back in high school anyway, then coached peewee football, spending hours doing drills with his son in their backyard. "He was gonna make [Tyrod] a great quarterback from when he was 3," says Curt Newsome, a former assistant coach at Virginia Tech. "He's probably caught more footballs than any father in America."
Taylor was single-minded as a kid. Whenever he finished his homework, he'd go into the garage -- the dungeon, his family called it -- to study VHS tapes of old NFL games, watching the film until he fell asleep. "A lot of the kids on my street said I was too busy to come out and play," he says. He followed his father everywhere, tagging along to watch the local high school football team, hurling his body at tackling dummies that dwarfed his tiny frame. In elementary school, he scribbled his goals on Authentic Mark Glowinski Jersey a sheet of paper for a class project. The fading document, now a piece of Taylor family lore, reads: "1. Go to college and get a degree. 2. Play college football. 3. Play in the NFL."
By the time Taylor was named the starting quarterback at Hampton High, it was obvious that he was destined to join the ranks of local legends like Michael Vick and Allen Iverson. But unlike his heroes, he wasn't cocky or outspoken. Even as his star rose, he remained an introvert, the sort of kid who waited until the bell rang to ask his teacher a question because he didn't want to raise his hand in class. As an adult, he's grown more confident but is still reserved to the point that he comes across as shy. While being interviewed, he moves my tape recorder to his lap to make sure it picks up his soft voice.
"I'm still learning how to be more vocal," Taylor says. "But I've always led by example."
Unlike many Type A quarterbacks, Taylor exudes a gentle calm; in street clothes, one might mistake him for someone who works with children for a living. When asked to recall a time when he grew as a leader, he doesn't point to a game-winning drive but instead tells the story of how, when he was in high school, one of his receivers fumbled a pass near the end zone, ending the team's playoff run. At first he was frustrated, but when his older teammates lashed out at the young player, he rose to his defense. It's one of his proudest memories. "To help him in that situation -- it helped me," he explainsBEFORE THE 2011 NFL draft, a scout told Taylor his team might take him in the second round (he fell to Baltimore in the sixth) -- but only as a wide receiver. Taylor, the winningest quarterback in Virginia Tech history, was taken aback. "All I knew since age 5 was quarterback," he says. "I never even thought about playing another position."
While nearly 70 percent of players in the NFL are black, they currently make up 25 percent of the league's 32 starting quarterbacks, a slight uptick from recent years. There are a number of reasons for this disparity, ranging from socioeconomic forces to stereotypes about who should play the role. Many gifted young black quarterbacks are encouraged to switch positions-some in high school, and others-as may be the case with Louisville's Lamar Jackson-as a prerequisite for playing in the NFL. They're also compared with one another when they have little in common (take, for Authentic Mark Glowinski Jersey example, the notion that EJ Manuel, hardly a prolific rusher, is "the same" as Taylor) and are often described as leaning on their athletic gifts or being unable to read defenses. This spring new research from the University of Colorado found that people were more likely to believe a white quarterback was smarter than a black quarterback, even when cues were offered that both were exceptionally intelligent. Taylor recently told The Buffalo News that he believes he's criticized in a different manner because of his race. "It's always going to be twice as bad just because of who I am -- an African-American quarterback."
"A lot of us aren't viewed as passers -- we're viewed as athletes," says Vick, who mentored Taylor, his fellow Virginia Tech alum. "I think it's unfair and unfortunate."
It's not the only hurdle Taylor faces. Dual-threat quarterbacks as a whole are still widely depicted as one-trick ponies, incapable of executing pro-style offenses. When it became clear this summer that the Panthers were looking to reduce Cam Newton's carries, Fox Sports 1 host Colin Cowherd compared him with Vick and Johnny Manziel and said running was "the easy, lazier way of playing QB." (Never mind the fact that Newton had led his team to the Super Bowl two seasons prior, rushing for 636 yards.) Some analysts have argued that Colin Kaepernick isn't in the NFL because teams don't want to rely on the read-option -- but the concept has worked beautifully in Kansas City and Houston, two of the more potent offenses in the league.
This summer the Bills installed a new offense, a West Coast-style scheme that asks Taylor to run less but involves bootlegs and rollouts that put him in motion before he throws. So far, the results have been mixed. The offensive line has struggled a bit, and McCoy, who thrived in 2015 and 2016, was bottled up for the first few weeks. The offense still uses a heavy dose of play-action (Taylor had a 116.6 passer rating on such plays after six games) but relies less heavily on the option. Through Week 7, the Bills had run the option just 18 times, versus 44 at the same point last year.
Some analysts have questioned whether the offense is best suited for Taylor's skills. One former personnel executive says Taylor would be explosive in a scheme like the Chiefs', which combines West Coast looks with designed runs and options. "If you allow the offense to evolve, you're better able to use this guy's strengths," he says. At times, he adds, it's been frustrating watching Taylor this year. "The problem right now is that it's almost like he's thinking too much and not playing," he says. "There's too many times where he's taken sacks and you're like, 'Get out of there!'"
Vick echoes the sentiment: "I think a lot of times quarterbacks get brainwashed into trying to be a pocket passer and distribute -- and that if you're taking off and running, you're not 'developing' as a QB. That can mess with you mentally. You get caught trying to stay in the pocket ... and you're playing in a box
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