View Full Version : Fred Taylor Benefits From High Tech Scoreboards

12-13-2007, 07:17 AM
:scratchchin:Hmmmm. Very interesting read.

Fred Taylor proved high-tech scoreboards can give runners eyes in the back of their heads
Thursday, December 13, 2007

By Gene Collier, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Did Jacksonsville's Fred Taylor benefit from a bird's-eye view of defenders broadcast on the stadium'sFred Taylor, the greatest running back never to set foot in Honolulu, at least not for the Pro Bowl, arrives in Pittsburgh this weekend not only at full gallop, but with perhaps the signature carry of his career still fresh as a slice of YouTube slapstick.

That was Taylor you saw going 80 against Carolina in a 37-6 Jaguars romp Sunday, and Taylor saw it too -- while he was doing it.

Maybe you suspected that Taylor has more career runs of 10 yards or more than all but five backs who ever played in this league (Emmitt Smith, Barry Sanders, Curtis Martin, Marshall Faulk, Jerome Bettis) because for so long it has seemed like he has had eyes in the back of his head. For that 80-yarder against the Panthers -- the longest run in Jacksonville's 13-year history -- Taylor had an extra set of eyes. For the only time in his nearly 2,300 career carries, Taylor watched himself run away from a defense on a stadium Jumbotron.

"It was cool," he said.

Taylor didn't appear to alter his route as he watched his pursuers on the big screen, but he could have. With the nearing advent of the next batch of mammoth cost-overrun stadiums in the NFL, the day is coming when there will be enough available video in enough places that ballcarriers might develop video as a weapon in real time.

If you can see the people chasing you without having to turn your head, then it's a new game. Again.

At Heinz Field, for the time being, you've got to be running toward the river to use the big screen. And of course, you have to think of it.

"I've never done it," said Hines Ward. "But I've heard of guys doing it."

Should Ward need to consult someone who has tried this very thing, he can walk across the carpet toward Heath Miller's locker. It is Miller who owns the longest touchdown reception in stadium history, an 87-yarder against Miami last year, and Miller had no trouble yesterday admitting he used the giant screen.

"Yeah, I did, and I could see who was chasing me," the tight end said. "But the only thing I remember thinking was, 'I better run faster.' "

Asked if the live video, which is shot with six cameras but shown mostly from an elevated vantage point near the 50, might be evolving into an aide to ballcarriers in open fields, Miller couldn't say.

"I haven't been in that situation enough to learn how to use it," he said.

Willie Parker, who breaks free as often as anyone in the room, dismissed it.

"I wouldn't do it," said No. 39. "I've got enough to think about. It's just not something I'd do."

Similarly, the Steelers have enough to worry about with Taylor without wondering what he's looking at with those extra eyes. Clark Haggans and Deshea Townsend, for example, have been around long enough to have been eyewitness victims to Taylor's 30-carry, 234-yard cadenza Nov. 19, 2000 at doomed Three Rivers Stadium. Taylor scored four times that day, one on a reception and three on typically punishing rushes.

Now, just six weeks short of his 32nd birthday, Taylor's three runs of more than 50 yards this season remind people that he can run away from defenders as easily as run over them, and with less wear and tear.

"He's an awesome, awesome running back, and has been for a long time," Jaguars quarterback David Garrard squawked on a conference call yesterday. "He's played in kind of a small market, and it's kept him from being considered big time, but he's just playing lights out. He's definitely a guy who should be in the Pro Bowl, but he's always been behind some really popular backs. Around here, he just wants what's best for everybody.

"He's the captain, the leader of this team."

The captain will reach Pittsburgh with three consecutive performances of 100 yards plus stoking his engine. In the past three games, Taylor has averaged more than 7 yards per carry. As the Steelers' run defense scrambles to restructure itself in the wake of Aaron Smith's painful biceps injury and the even more painful news that Smith won't put on a uniform again until Latrobe, Taylor's momentum is the single most dramatic issue facing Mike Tomlin's team.

Knowing what he knows now, should Taylor break one toward the river, it might seem like 12 against 11.


12-13-2007, 07:45 AM
This is nothing new.... Runners have been using the jumbotrons for years.

Rhee Rhee
12-13-2007, 05:29 PM
if u spend more time watching the jumbotron than the actual field i hope anthony smith knocks the snot out of him...

12-13-2007, 06:12 PM
if u spend more time watching the jumbotron than the actual field i hope anthony smith knocks the snot out of him...

Perhaps that particular camera operator could zoom in on ole Fred then. Provided of course that he breaks one on us.