time2rock Posted August 1, 2021 Share Posted August 1, 2021 How Eagles’ Davion Taylor took advantage of 2nd offseason after forgettable rookie year Updated Jul 30, 2021; Posted Jul 30, 2021 By Mike Kaye | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com PHILADELPHIA -- Davion Taylor would be the first to admit his head was spinning during this time last year. Pushed into action following a non-existent offseason, the Eagles linebacker didn’t know how to handle training camp at the NovaCare Complex as a rookie. Last year’s third-round pick was lost without a legitimate rookie minicamp and offseason program. This year, with a modified organized team activities schedule under his belt, the Colorado alum has flipped the script. Despite learning his second defensive system in as many offseasons, Taylor is in a groove, lining up with the first-team unit with incumbent starter Alex Singleton sidelined on the COVID-19 reserve list. "Just being out there and getting that experience, going against the [first-team] offense and everything, it builds my confidence,” Taylor said after practice on Thursday. Taylor played just 32 snaps under former defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz last season. The linebacker was billed as an athletic project who needed a couple of years to reach his potential. But under new defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon and linebackers coach Nick Rallis, Taylor is getting the chance to be a legitimate cog in the defense. The coaching staff is high on Taylor, as NJ Advance Media has previously reported, and his push to the first-team unit isn’t an empty gesture. Taylor invested in himself during his second offseason, and Gannon, Rallis and others in the organization took notice. Taylor, a self-proclaimed hands-on learner, asked Rallis for additional meetings and fieldwork during the offseason. He studied his playbook 3-4 times a week and built on the foundation of at-home learning that he established during the height of the coronavirus pandemic last year. "I feel way more comfortable,” Taylor said. "Since we had OTAs [this offseason], it helped me way more, because I was able to get on the field early in the spring. I was able to practice the plays and get comfortable in this scheme. I feel like it helped me a lot coming into this training camp and I feel like it will help me going into the season.” Taylor credits the new coaching staff with fixing one of his biggest rookie problems: eye placement. The second-year linebacker admitted that he struggled in limited action as a rookie, and during his college career, because of his lack of eye control. Much like his play on the field, Taylor’s eyes were everywhere and mostly where they didn’t need to be. "All throughout OTAs, I just made sure my eyes were in the right place,” Taylor said. "During the offseason, even when I wasn’t here, I was just imagining keeping my eyes on the right thing. Last year, I know when I did get in the game, my eyes messed me up a lot.” Gannon has kept a close eye on Taylor as he’s evaluated the defense during the first two days of training camp. Taylor has played opposite veterans like T.J. Edwards and Eric Wilson and looked competent working against the first-team offense. "He’s had a couple of good days,” Gannon said. "He looks a lot more comfortable to me right now just in what he’s doing. Nick has done a really good job with him of making him understand the ‘why’ behind how we do things and, ‘Hey, this is his specific skill set and we’re going to let him roll.’” The staff has been preaching competition throughout the offseason. And, so far during training camp, the coaches have practiced what they’ve preached, rotating players into different platoons during team drills. Taylor thinks that rotation is just another opportunity for growth during his second offseason in the NFL. "Right now, I might be with the ones, but tomorrow I might be with the threes,” Taylor said. "By doing that rotation, it’s helping me a lot, because you get to know all of your teammates and all of the players on defense, and you get to work together.” https://www.nj.com/eagles/2021/07/how-eagles-davion-taylor-took-advantage-of-2nd-offseason-after-forgettable-rookie-year.html?fbclid=IwAR14nRTixKcGlIEE8H_OdcSJGEtcBT_rIkEV06W9ZVl9U9lMp1diHRSunHQ 1 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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