Training camp is a grind, mentally and physically.
And after going through a dozen of them already, running back Fred Taylor knows what it takes to survive the NFL’s demanding tune-up time.
It’s a lengthy list.
“You’ve got to develop a routine throughout camp,” the former Jacksonville Jaguar entering his second season with New England said this morning. “With the massages, with working with the training staff, the cold tubs, soaking in your room, (go to) sleep early, getting the proper amount of rest…protein shakes, eating right, I mean, fruit, veggies, whatever it is. It’s a lot, but you have to do it, especially if you want to come out and compete every day, because training camp is about competition, taking advantage of your chances, the opportunity that you’re given and at this point in my career I can’t afford to miss out on them.
“This is a young man’s game and I want to be able to be successful the best I can.”
Taylor is not considered a lock to earn a roster spot with the Patriots this year. Currently 15th on the NFL’s all-time rushing list (11,540 yards), he had one particularly forgettable day catching the ball in mini-camp, and the Pats have two other players at his position who are 33 or older, as he is.
The Florida native, who was inducted into the Palm Beach County and University of Florida Athletic halls of fame this spring, was asked if it is tough at his age to prepare for the rigors of camp.
“You’ve got to have a ‘crazy button’,” he said, smiling. “You’ve got to be able to press that button to get up and do it. I mean, this is my 13th year, I’m blessed, I thank God for it, and the fact that I love playing football, that’s why I’m here.”