That video above contains Fred Taylor’s favorite playoff memory. There haven’t been many …
On that day, the second-year phenom ripped of a 90-yard touchdown run as part of an 18-carry, 135-yard effort to absolutely destroy Dan Marino’s final game as a Dolphin, and send Miami back downstate with a 62-7 haymaker in the divisional round. The next week, the 15-2 Jaguars hosted the AFC title game. And lost 33-14 to the Titans in a game they led at the half.
I asked Taylor about it this afternoon. His response? Yup, pretty predictable.
“Awwww, man, don’t bring that up,” he said, smiling. But then he continued …
“I share that with all the young guys during this time of the season, moreso because it was a six-year drought before we made it back to the playoffs,” Taylor said. “But those first two years, my rookie year and my second year, being ’99, you’re thinking, ‘Man this is a piece of cake, we’re gonna do this every year.’
“You’re fooling yourself if you think that way. So I try and share that story with them so they won’t have those regrets, and they can work at throughout the course of the week.”
Taylor’s actually been a pretty good postseason player — Rushing for 110 or more yards in three of his seven playoff appearances. In fact, Bill Belichick is responsible for holding him under that mark in three of the other four games (in ’98 with the Jets, and ’05 and ’07 with the Patriots), and also can serve as Taylor’s reminder that’s he’s only made the tournament twice this decade.
Not that he needs anymore of those … “You know what’s at stake, just want to make sure you have no regrets when it’s done, ‘I wish I could’ve done this or done that’,” he said. “During the week, you want to get it all in.”