Charley Taylor passed away on Saturday at the age of 80. With his death, the NFL lost one of its all-time great weapons.
Want to see some moves? Turn on an old Washington game.
Back in the 1960s and ’70s, it was Charley Taylor skittering through defenses, making them miss with a rare combination of agility and speed. The duality of his talents eventually earned Taylor enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as part of the 1984 class.
Playing with Washington his entire 14-year career (1964-77), Taylor amassed 10,598 yards from scrimmage along with 90 touchdown. During his first three seasons, Taylor was primarily a halfback and in 1966, caught a whopping 72 passes to pace the circuit, to go with 1,119 yards and 12 receiving touchdowns. The following campaign, he made the full-time switch to receiver and once again led the NFL with 70 catches.
An eight-time Pro Bowler and a First-Team All-Pro in ’66, Taylor defined an era of Washington football, one which ranged from the darker days to the team’s first Super Bowl appearance in 1972.
After Taylor’s death this weekend, the Washington Commanders put out a statement from owners Tanya and Daniel Snyder. Per NFL.com:
“We are incredibly saddened to hear the news about the passing of the great Charley Taylor. Charley is a member of the Washington Ring of Fame and one of the most decorated players in franchise history. He retired as the NFL’s all-time leader in receptions and holds our franchise record for total touchdowns. His achievements were recognized by the entire NFL community with his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1984. He represented the organization with excellence and class over three decades as a player and coach. Charley was a great man and will be sorely missed by all. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Patricia and the entire Taylor family during this time.”
A member of the 1960s All-Decade Team, Taylor was one of the more dominant players of his era, in a time well before the forward pass was the massive weapon it is today. In the current NFL, his skills in space would have made him almost unguardable, especially once the liberalization of the passing game is factored in.
Taylor may be gone, but his impact on football and the way he played the game will continue to live on.