Hall of Fame running back-turned-receiver Charley Taylor dies at 80

Charley Taylor, the Hall of Fame wide receiver who, after 13 seasons playing for Washington, retired with the most strikes in profession...


Charley Taylor, the Hall of Fame wide receiver who, after 13 seasons playing for Washington, retired with the most strikes in professional football history, died Saturday at an assisted living facility in Virginia. He was 80 years old.

Washington Commanders announcement the death in a press release without specifying the cause.

Taylor was an Arizona State All-American running back when he was drafted in 1964 by the Redskins, as Washington’s football team was then called. He was quick but unruly, regularly outpacing his own linemen in the backfield; nevertheless, he was named Rookie of the Year.

Taylor had 53 receptions that year, then a record for a running back. In 1966, Otto Graham, who took over as Washington’s coach at a time when the team was a perennial loser, converted Taylor to full-time catcher, hoping to make his power and his dexterity of postmen in the open field.

Taylor, who as a teenager dreamed of emulating powerhouse running back Jim Brown, initially resisted the change in his game that it required. But then he found that starting with the ball beyond the line of scrimmage suited his ability to juke and change gears. After avoiding or overpowering cornerbacks, Taylor often ran for long wins after a catch.

Reviewing his career when he retired in 1978, The Washington Post called Taylor “the man who had given cornerbacks more headaches than any pass catcher to play the game.”

During Taylor’s first season as a receiver, he led the league in receptions with 72 and was the primary option for future Hall of Fame quarterback Sonny Jurgensen, who led the league in yards by the passes with 3,209. In 10 years as teammates, the two became one of the best offensive duos in NFL history.

Taylor helped propel Washington to consistent winning records in the early and mid-1970s, but the team never managed to win a title. In the 1972 playoffs, Washington dismantled the defending champion Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Championship Game, 26-3, with Taylor recording two touchdown receptions, including one for 45 meters. In the Super Bowl, however, Washington lost to the undefeated Miami Dolphins.

Taylor held the career record for receptions until Charlie Joiner of the San Diego Chargers surpassed him in 1984, the year Taylor was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Taylor remains Washington’s career leader in touchdown receptions, with 79, and he’s tied for the franchise single-season record for touchdown receptions, with 12. He made the Pro Bowl eight times and was in the Hall of Fame. 1960s team.

Charles Robert Taylor was born on September 28, 1941 in Grand Prairie, Texas. He was raised there by his mother, Myrtle, a chef, butcher and restaurateur, and his stepfather, James Stevenson, who made airplane parts.

Charley was a star athlete at his segregated high school, but he struggled to find a college where he could play football — Texas collegiate teams were still segregated — and he considered joining the military. Instead, his football career was launched when a man who owned a local grocery store and had attended Arizona State arranged a meeting between Charley and the school’s football coach, Frank Kush. .

When Taylor entered the NFL, there were no black quarterbacks or coaches. After retiring, he set out to make history by becoming the first black head coach or general manager. He spent 16 years working with the Redskins as a scout and coach, but he never made it past an assistant.

Taylor is survived by his wife, Patricia (Grant) Taylor; their three children, Elizabeth, Erica and Charles Jr.; and several grandchildren.

Taylor didn’t celebrate touchdowns with a conventional point. He held his arms up, soccer ball in hand, as he gazed proudly around the pitch.

“It was kind of a gesture that said, ‘I did everything I could with the ball,'” Taylor explained in a maintenance with NFL Films. “It was my way of saying, ‘I rest my case.'”

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Newsrust - US Top News: Hall of Fame running back-turned-receiver Charley Taylor dies at 80
Hall of Fame running back-turned-receiver Charley Taylor dies at 80
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