Del Rio not ready to project Taylor's future
When you're 4-7 it's hard not to start projecting what's coming after the season is over.
But Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio didn't want to speculate about Fred Taylor's future today when he spoke with Jacksonville reporters.
Taylor has said he'd like to finish he career as a Jaguar, but thinks he might not after a tough season this year during which Jacksonville's run game has fallen off.
Here's the relevant section of today's press conference:
On Fred Taylor getting less carries
"I think it's a combination. I think first of all we are a power running team that is at its best when we're running the football and setting up our play-action pass and I mean we're built that way. So when we're at our best, we're doing those things. I think when we're at our best and doing those things then he's getting more carries and feeling maybe more important. But he's been a great pro here, and certainly over my tenure here in Jacksonville I've been very pleased and impressed with the way he's worked at it. He's the consummate pro. Every Sunday he shows up ready to give it his all for the team, so I respect that. I have a lot of respect for the way he's approached the game, the way he's maintained the conditioning level that he has to allow himself to play at a high level late in his career. So, that's all good stuff."
Is it that you want to be, but you're not really a power running team like you've been?
"I'm not saying that we've been as good at it this year. Clearly we have not been as good at this year. The last couple of years we were right at the top of the league in terms of ability to run the ball, force people to over-commit and open up things in the play-action game. So this year clearly has not been like it has been the last few years."
On Fred saying he wants to finish his career here but not sure about whether he'll be here next year
"I can tell you that we haven't turned our attention to making decisions about our roster going forward. As I said a moment ago, Fred's been a great pro here, continues to be a great pro. We'll work through issues like that when it's time. I think more than anything he's probably expressing frustration over not having the kind of year we all hoped we would have."
You're not ready to say he'll be here?
"Not ready to get into any offseason discussions. I think those things will take care of themselves in due time. I think right now the focus has got to be on going down and playing the Houston Texans. Guys that extend their career and play beyond what is normal, and that are the types of guys that he is, are always decisions that you're going to be very careful with and make sure that a lot of thought and energy and effort is put into making certain that it's the right decision for you and for them. So before any decisions like that are made about not going forward, there will be a lot of due diligence done. At this point, we're happy to have him. Like I said, he's been a big part of our team and over the last six years there's nothing that he's done that I'm not proud of in terms of being a tough, dependable, hard-working guy.