Coach Vince Lombardi called him the most determined runner he’d ever seen. A blocking back for Heisman Trophy-winner Billy Cannon at Louisiana State University, Taylor used weight lifting and isometric exercising to build himself into a compact, battering ram-style fullback.
Taylor became the thunder in the Green Bay Packers offense under Lombardi from 1959-66. His devastating blocks and powerful running in tandem with Paul Hornung, Tom Moore, Elijah Pitts and others gave the Packers ‘run to daylight’ attack respect and admiration around the NFL.
He led the Packers in rushing from 1960 through ‘66. For five straight seasons Taylor gained more than 1,000 yards. In 1961, he led the NFL in scoring. The next season he scored a league-leading 19 touchdowns.
“Jim Brown will give you that leg and take it away from you,” Vince Lombardi wrote in Run to Daylight. “Taylor will give it to you and ram it through your chest.”
Some of Taylor’s best moments came in championship games. Many remember his gutty performance in the 1962 NFL Championship game in New York. The Giants defense keyed on Taylor all day in the bitterly cold, windy Yankee Stadium. Taylor persevered despite biting through his tongue in the first half and being battered and bruised after 31 rushes in the Packers’ 16-7 win.
After the 1966 season, in which Taylor played out his option, he signed with the New Orleans Saints where he played one more season.
Taylor was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1976.
To see Jim Taylor’s personal website, click here.