NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Taywan Taylor’s handle on Twitter is simply @SilentGrind2, all part of the Tennessee rookie wide receiver’s approach to letting his play do his talking.
Right now, Taylor is making plenty of noise on the football field.
The rookie drafted in the third round out of Western Kentucky turned in the fastest run by a ball carrier through the first two weeks of the season, hitting 21.44 mph speeding past Jaguars cornerback A.J. Bouye before stretching out to catch a 42-yard pass from Marcus Mariota.
Not bad for someone clocked at 4.50 seconds in the 40 at the NFL Combine.
“It’s definitely motivating because you hear something like that, I really didn’t have no idea until I heard it from … a couple other people,” Taylor said. “Definitely motivates me to just keep playing fast. That’s what I’ve always prided myself on. Playing fast every snap. I don’t realize how fast I’m going. I just try to go full speed and play fast, so I can open it up for other guys.”
Taylor only has three catches for 56 yards and two rushes for 16 yards more. But the rookie is poised for more work alongside starter Rishard Matthews and veteran Eric Decker with wide receiver Corey Davis, the fifth overall pick, sidelined Sunday against Seattle (1-1) by a tight hamstring.
Mariota said having Taylor certainly helps the offense.
“Teams have to know when he’s in the game, they have to know that he’s a viable option and can do those types of things,” Mariota said. “It allows you to do a lot of different things on offense. When you’ve got a guy like that you’ve got to find ways to get him the ball.”
The Titans (1-1) have been trying to do that, handing off to Taylor on end-arounds and jet sweeps. He’s also been used as a decoy running through the backfield as well.
The more he does things well in games, Titans coach Mike Mularkey said, “you’re going to find ways to get him the ball more.”
The 5-foot-11, 203 -pound Taylor was the best wide receiver in Western Kentucky history, setting school records with 253 catches for 4,234 yards and 41 touchdowns in his career. He set the single season records last year with 98, which ranked fifth nationally, for 1,730 yards and 17 TDs.
Now the native of Louisville, Kentucky, is playing a short drive away from home. Taylor said he wants to be ready whenever his number is called.
“Whatever the situation occurs, that’s what I’m going to be prepared for,” Taylor said.
Taylor got lots of work with both Davis and Decker out much of the preseason with injuries. Offensive coordinator Terry Robiskie said Thursday that Taylor just has to keep working as hard as he has all summer and preseason.
“He’s just got to keep coming, keep playing, keep going,” Robiskie said. “It’s not something we sit down and say, ‘We need 10 more plays, 12 more plays when he’s in there.’ Just keep making plays.”
Notes: RB DeMarco Murray (hamstring) did not practice Thursday. Mularkey said he hopes the Pro Bowler can practice Friday.
Follow Teresa M. Walker at www.twitter.com/teresamwalker