Who Is the Greatest Running Back of All Time? - Vol. 2
Thank you for checking out this 2nd edition of Greatest Running Backs of All Time. If you haven't already read this first edition please check it out on my hub page. In the first volume of this debate we discussed the career and achievements of the great Barry Sanders. Barry makes a great case for being the greatest ever but only you, the reader, will decide on who is the greatest. There is a voting poll on the Vol. 1 hub, where you can submit your vote. I will write about who I think in my opinion is the greatest ever at the end of this series, but your votes will determine the winner in the eyes of our fellow hubbers and readers. 1 week after all 10 volumes are released I will write about who, in my opinion, is the greatest running back of all time. After that hub is published, i will tally all the votes and write about who you, the voters, selected as the greatest ever. So please after reading these go to the first volume and let us all know who you think is the greatest.
Our second candidate is Fred Taylor
Now I already know what most of you are probably thinking. Fred Taylor one of the greatest running backs? No way. Well I'm saying yes way. Please do read about this man's great talents and accomplishments and then make your estimation afterwards.
Fred was born on January 27, 1976 in Pahokee, Florida. He went to Glades Central High School in Belle Glades, Florida. Just about all running backs have interesting back stories. Fred's story is that he started out playing linebacker. He didn't play running back until his junior year in high school. He amassed 1,700 yards and 22 touchdowns as a senior and was named Florida's "Mr. Football" in 1993. Fred attended college at the University of Florida. His college career was nothing to get excited about. He rushed for a total of only 1,783 yards in his freshman, sophomore and junior campaigns, while scoring 18 touchdowns. His senior season was actually his only season being the premier starting back. Following a National Title winning season, Fred rushed for 1.292 yards in his senior season nabbing 13 touchdowns, ranking him #4 on Florida's all time players list.
Fred was drafted 9th overall in the 1998 NFL Draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars. As a rookie, Fred rushed for 1,223 yards and 14 touchdowns. In only his second season as a Jaguar Fred Taylor, although injured for 6 games of the season, helped his team reach the playoffs. They walked all over the Miami Dolphins in the first playoff game, winning 62-7. Fred also set a Jaguar record for longest rush in this playoff game, (90 yards). The next season Fred gained 1,399 yards in only 13 games. The following year Fred went down in week 2 after injuring his groin. Instead of placing Taylor on injured reserve, Coach Tom Coughlin decided to list him as questionable for the whole season. In all, between 1999-2001 Fred missed nearly half of the Jaguars games, (23). Soon, because of his tendency to get injured, Fred earned the label of "Fragile Fred".
The nickname "Fragile Fred" must have lit a fire under his belt because over the next 2 seasons Fred started all 32 games, rushing for 1,314 and 1,572 yards.The next year, 2004, Fred played the first 14 games, gaining 1,224 yards rushing before getting injured just two weeks before the seasons end. At this point Fred had (5) 1,000 plus yard rushing seasons. Injuries struck once again and slowed Fred's productivity. It seemed that the Jaguars were growing tired of his proneness to injury so they drafter Maurice Jones-Drew in the 2006 NFL Draft. Determined to still be the feature back, Fred rushed for over 1,000 yards each of the following seasons (2006-2007).
Although 2008 was Fred's last year as a Jaguar due to the overwhelming performance of Maurice Jones-Drew, he still managed to pass the 11,000 yard career rushing mark and 13,000 all purpose yard mark. After suffering yet another injury in the 2008 season, Fred was released the following year. As sad as it is for a definitely productive, but injury prone back this may have been the best thing that has ever happened to Fred in his career. In 2009 he signed a 2 year deal with the New England Patriots, who are 3 Time Super Bowl Champions. Maybe this is his shot for a legitimate shot at the Super Bowl? Only time will tell. He performed well in the first game of the season, but fell short only gaining 27 rushing yards over the next two games.
Below are Fred Taylor's Career Achievements
- 1 of the 100 Greatest High School Football Players in Florida history
- Florida's MR. Football 1993
- First Team All SEC 1997
- 1997 Walter Camp Award Winner
- 1997 College Football National Champion
- Ed Block Courage Award 2002
- 2007 First Team All Pro
- 2007 Pro Bowl Selection
- 2007 Fed-Ex Ground Player of the Year
Below are Fred Taylor's Career Statistics so far
- 11,638 rushing yards
- 2,384 receiving yards
- 66 rushing touchdowns
- 8 receiving touchdowns
One big reason I have selected Fred as one of the candidates is because of his productivity while he was not injured. If you calculate the games he has been out injured they total up to 48, which is equivalent to 3 NFL Seasons. Imagine what the numbers may have looked like if he had not missed those games. Take that into account when you place your vote.