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Taylor and Del Rio unhappy? (1 Viewer)


That's why it was so surprising when veteran running back Fred Taylor opened the off-season program by telling coach Jack Del Rio he was going to work out on his own and then sounded off in an interview with a Florida Times-Union reporter.

"It's an unloyal business," he said. "If they say something, it doesn't necessarily mean you mean it a week later. It's all hot air until it happens."

Taylor is 30 and the Jaguars have yet to replace him, so it's still uncertain why he's unhappy, though he may see the handwriting on the wall.

He decided to work out his own in the off-season with a firm called Perfect Competition, though he'll show up for mini-camp and the organized team activities.

He admitted Del Rio wasn't happy when he told him.

"(Del Rio) wanted the camaraderie. Like any other head coach, he wants the players to be here in the off-season," Taylor said. "But the off-season (program) isn't mandatory."

Of the Jaguars' response, Taylor said, "Sometimes you've just got to deal with it. It's a business and they make it a business first."

He also said, "There are 31 other teams in this league and I'm good enough to play for somebody. I'm going to do what I need to do to take care of myself and they're going to do what they have to do to take care of the organization. It's a business. If somebody were to fall into free agency that was better than me, they would snatch him up in a heartbeat and I would be on the street. I would love to end my career here. I know how it goes. Emmitt (Smith) wanted to end his career in Dallas, but it doesn't always work out. What someone says can be a lot of hot air, so I'm going to take care of Fred first."

Taylor's comments were puzzling because he seemed on the verge of making a comeback this year at age 30. He's healthy again after undergoing knee surgery in the off-season last year and then being slowed by an ankle injury during the season.

Not surprisingly, the Jaguars had no comment, but privately, they were annoyed that Taylor decided to go public with his frustration.

It's uncertain, though, just why he's frustrated. Although Greg Jones stepped in for Taylor he was injured, he didn't put up dazzling numbers. He carried 151 times for 575 yards and a 3.8 average, while Taylor had 787 yards in 194 carries for a 4.1 average.

While Jones is a power runner, he didn't seem like he was ready to step in a permanent basis.

It could be that Taylor was just blowing off steam. Or he may be frustrated because he's 30 and knows the life span of a running back doesn't usually last much longer than 30.

He saw the Colts let his good friend, Edgerrin James, walk this year.

Whatever Taylor was up to, he added some spice to the off-season program and raised some questions that won't be answered until training camp or during the regular season.



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