Charley Taylor, the Corridor of Fame receiver who after 13 seasons taking part in for Washington retired with essentially the most catches in professional soccer historical past, died on Saturday at an assisted residing facility in Virginia. He was 80.
The Washington Commanders introduced the loss of life in an announcement however didn’t specify the trigger.
Taylor was an All-American working again from Arizona State when he was drafted in 1964 by the Redskins, because the Washington soccer staff was then referred to as. He was quick however undisciplined, frequently outrunning his personal linemen within the backfield; nonetheless, he was named Rookie of the 12 months.
Taylor had 53 receptions that yr, then a document for a working again. In 1966, Otto Graham, who took over as Washington’s coach at a time when the staff was a perennial loser, transformed Taylor right into a full-time receiver, hoping to make his energy and dexterity elements within the open discipline.
Taylor, who as an adolescent had dreamed of emulating the powerhouse working again Jim Brown, initially resisted the change in his sport this required. However then he found that beginning with the ball past the road of scrimmage suited his skill to juke and shift gears. After evading or overpowering cornerbacks, Taylor typically ran for lengthy beneficial properties after a catch.
Reviewing his profession when he retired in 1978, The Washington Publish referred to as Taylor “the person who had given extra complications to cornerbacks than any go catcher to play the sport.”
Throughout Taylor’s first season as a receiver, he led the league in receptions with 72 and served as the first choice of the long run Corridor of Fame quarterback Sonny Jurgensen, who led the league in passing yards with 3,209. Over 10 years as teammates, the 2 turned one of many premier offensive duos in N.F.L. historical past.
Taylor helped propel Washington to constant successful data within the early and mid-Seventies, however the staff by no means managed to win a title. Within the 1972 playoffs, Washington dismantled the reigning champion Dallas Cowboys within the N.F.C. championship sport, 26-3, with Taylor recording two landing receptions, together with one for 45 yards. Within the Tremendous Bowl, nonetheless, Washington misplaced to the undefeated Miami Dolphins.
Taylor held the profession document for receptions till Charlie Joiner of the San Diego Chargers surpassed him in 1984, the yr Taylor was inducted into the Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame. Taylor stays Washington’s profession chief in landing receptions, with 79, and he’s tied for the franchise’s single-season document for landing receptions, with 12. He made the Professional Bowl eight occasions and was on the Corridor of Fame’s All-Sixties staff.
Charles Robert Taylor was born on Sept. 28, 1941, in Grand Prairie, Texas. He was raised there by his mom, Myrtle, a chef, butcher and restaurant proprietor, and his stepfather, James Stevenson, who constructed airplane components.
Charley was a star athlete at his segregated highschool, however he struggled to discover a school the place he may play soccer — collegiate groups in Texas have been nonetheless segregated — and he thought-about coming into the army. As a substitute, his soccer profession was launched when a person who owned a neighborhood grocery retailer and had attended Arizona State organized a gathering between Charley and the college’s soccer coach, Frank Kush.
When Taylor entered the N.F.L., there have been no Black quarterbacks or coaches. After retiring, he set his ambitions on making historical past by changing into the primary Black head coach or normal supervisor. He spent 16 years working with the Redskins as a scout and coach, however he by no means ascended past an assistant place.
Taylor is survived by his spouse, Patricia (Grant) Taylor; their three youngsters, Elizabeth, Erica and Charles Jr.; and several other grandchildren.
Taylor didn’t rejoice touchdowns with a traditional spike. He held his arms aloft, soccer in hand, whereas wanting pridefully across the discipline.
“It was kind of a gesture stated, ‘I’ve completed all I can do with the ball,’” Taylor defined in an interview with NFL Movies. “It was my approach of claiming, ‘I relaxation my case.’”