NFL: Zac and Press Taylor prove football isn't just a contact sport, but a sports of contacts

The opportunities have come for Zac and Press Taylor. Sometimes, it's not just who you know. It's who you know knows who.
by Berry Tramel Modified: September 20, 2013 at 6:00 pm •  Published: September 19, 2013
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photo - University of Nebraska quarterback Zac Taylor throws against Colorado in their college football game in Lincoln, Neb., Friday, Nov. 24, 2006.  Zac Taylor threw two touchdown passes on a record-setting day and No. 23 Nebraska, already bound for the Big 12 championship game, pulled out all its tricks against Colorado in a 37-14 victory Friday.(AP Photo/Dave Weaver) ORG XMIT: NENH114
University of Nebraska quarterback Zac Taylor throws against Colorado in their college football game in Lincoln, Neb., Friday, Nov. 24, 2006. Zac Taylor threw two touchdown passes on a record-setting day and No. 23 Nebraska, already bound for the Big 12 championship game, pulled out all its tricks against Colorado in a 37-14 victory Friday.(AP Photo/Dave Weaver) ORG XMIT: NENH114

Their dad was a coach, too. Sherwood was an All-State player at Ada, started at safety for Barry Switzer's teams in the late 1970s and then coached at both Kansas State and OU in the 1980s.

His sons “loved the game, studied the game, but I never had the feeling they wanted to go into coaching,” Sherwood said. “But they loved the strategy with it. Honestly, I can't even have conversations with ‘em anymore. They know way more than I ever did about football.”

Zac said he caught the coaching bug not from his father-in-law, but from his father, who even though had entered private business still coached them in youth sports.

“He was such a great teacher, it was natural to learn from him, be inspired by him,” Zac said.

Then it was natural for Press to follow Zac.

“He saw the fun I was having with coaching,” Zac said. “Made sense to jump right into it.”

Both Taylors say they love the NFL. For a student of the game, what's not to love? No recruiting. No checking on class attendance. No campus drama. It's all football.

“We used to visit, ‘aw, we'd never go to the pros,'” Sherwood said his boys would say. “Now, it's, ‘I'll never go back to college.'

“It would have to be a really big move up. I think both enjoy doing what they're doing at the pro level. I could see Zac going back to, like, Nebraska, if the right position came along.”

Taylor certainly was well-respected in Nebraska. His coordinator and quarterback coach was Jay Norvell, who now is on Bob Stoops' OU staff.

“Great kid, great family,” Norvell said. “Football family. Absolutely love that kid and knew he would be an excellent coach from the day I met him and recruited him.

“It was his makeup is why we recruited him up there. Sharp football mind.”

The Taylors' early returns of the 2013 season are solid. The Dolphins are a surprising 2-0, with Taylor coaching his protégé' at A&M, Ryan Tannehill. Meanwhile, the fun-to-watch Eagles, with Kelly's hurryup offense, were 1-1 going into a Thursday night game against Kansas City.

There will be no Taylor Brothers showdown this side of the Super Bowl. At least not until 2015, the next time AFC East teams are scheduled to play NFC East teams.

But by then, who knows where the Taylor boys might be?

“Both have been diligent in building relationships,” Sherwood Taylor said. “They did a good job, staying with people.”

Making contacts, yes, but also building upon the family to which they were born.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at btramel@opubco.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.


by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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