Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Fred Picks Up Where Barry Left Off

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Fred Picks Up Where Barry Left Off

Article excerpt

You missed it.

You really missed it.

Some who saw it last night called it The Greatest Game Ever Played II. They said it rivaled the Epic in Miami, that never-ending 1981 playoff game between the Dolphins and Chargers. They said it was the Immaculate Reception, The Catch and The Guarantee all rolled into one.

OK, so it wasn't quite that dramatic.

OK, so it wasn't nearly that dramatic.

OK, so it wasn't dramatic at all.

But you blacked-out, bummed-out fans out there did miss one significant moment in team history during the Jaguars' 31-6 preseason victory over The Franchise Formerly Known As The Kansas City Chiefs: You missed the emergence of the most electrifying running back in the post-Barry National Football League. With Barry Sanders now retired, the Jaguars' Fred Taylor cannot be called the best running back in pro football, but he is certainly the most exciting. And he might not be as far from being the best as people might think.

"I'm confident enough in my abilities to say I will get to that level if I stay healthy," Taylor said of being compared to the NFL's best.

Certainly, Denver's Terrell Davis has to be considered the league's premier back, but not even he makes the run Taylor made last night. I'm sure Jaguars radio voice Brian Sexton (motto: See, I do exist) made a memorable call of Taylor's record-breaking 86-yard TD last night, but words cannot do it justice.

"Not even Terrell Davis has the breakaway speed Fred has," Jaguars offensive tackle Tony Boselli said. "Fred's one of those guys who can take it all the way at any time -- and that's excitement."

On a night when defensive end Tony Brackens took a major step toward becoming a pass-rushing force and Jaguars cornerbacks (motto: See, we exist, too) made two acrobatic interceptions, Taylor's run -- the longest in Jaguars history -- remained the one play that left you shaking your head. From the time he broke the line of scrimmage to the time he crossed the goal-line and flipped the ball to Boselli for the ceremonial spike, this was, as Mark Brunell said, "Classic Fred. …

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