I had those Charley Taylor moves
Well, not quite. The real Charley Taylor played for the Redskins. And he was a star. In his backyard as well, DC Stadium.
The 1964 NFL draft saw the 49ers select an excellent tight end in Dave Parks. The No. 2 pick went to Philly and the Eagles did well grabbing a future Hall-of-Famer in offensive lineman Bob Brown.
And Washington had the third pick. And the Skins did well. They chose Arizona State’s Taylor. He, too, would be elected into the Hall of Fame.
It was love at first sight. That is between quarterback Sonny Jurgensen and the young receiver Taylor. No matter that Taylor was stationed at running back, Jurgensen did not discriminate. Taylor carried the ball 14 times on opening day at home against the great Jim Brown and his Browns.
More importantly, Jurgensen threw to the new back eight times good for 88 yards. Taylor scored the team’s first touchdown of the season, good for 17 yards on the ground. Coach Bill McPeak had a 10-0 lead early. Jim Brown scored on two short runs as the Browns rallied for a 27-13 win.
The Skins would lose four straight games to open the campaign of 64. The first win came on Oct. 11th. Taylor caught a pair of scoring passes from Jurgensen in the 35-20 win.
Taylor scored five touchdowns on the ground for the 6-8 Skins. He also caught five touchdown passes.
His last year running the ball from scrimmage was the 1966 campaign. That coincided with Taylor leading the league in pass receptions. That season, Taylor snagged 72 passes and gobbled up a career-high 1,119 yards. He also scored 12 touchdowns.
He again paced the league in receptions in 1967. Taylor caught 70 passes in that season.
Frankly, Taylor toiled for some very average Redskins teams. And then George Allen came to town and changed a few things around. And Taylor had to get used to a different quarterback. But a good receiver, rather a great receiver, adapts.
On Sept. 26, 1971, Taylor teamed with Billy Kilmer on TD passes of 1 and 71 yards. Washington destroyed the New York Giants 30-3.
Taylor would play all 165 games of his career for DC’s favorite team. He would score 79 touchdowns in the air and add another 11 during his early running days.
Taylor caught 2 passes in the Super Bowl loss to Miami in 1972. He made the Pro Bowl eight times. And he was elected to the Football Hall of Fame in 1984.