One of the most promising young talents on the Texans' roster soon could be in a living room near you.
Gary Kubiak has hinted recently that before the season finishes (and five games remain), he wants to take a good luck at Chris Taylor. A member of the practice squad, Taylor is a brawny 5-11, 220-pound running back from the University of Indiana.
Anyone that attended training camp, or even saw the Texans during mini-camp or OTAs, can attest to Taylor's speed and ability. A former undrafted free agent, Taylor likens his game to that of running back Larry Johnson. Taylor isn't saying he's as good as Johnson, who leads the NFL in rushing yards this season. All he's saying is that his running style most resembles the Chiefs' top offensive threat.
"I try to use my speed, but I try to use my power also," Taylor said. "I like contact. I like going in there getting some contact in, breaking tackles, and hopefully when I get in the open field show that speed."
You won't find too many practice squad running backs with as much confidence as Taylor. You also won't hear Taylor apologizing for that, either.
"That's just who I am," he said. "That's just the type of person I am. I've been working hard and this is what I've been working for my whole life."
I can't fault Taylor for believing in himself. In fact, I like that attitude. A lot of rookies might be timid and unsure of themselves, particularly if they are relegated to the practice squad. But that doesn't seem to be an issue with Taylor.
Without seeing him play in a game situation for weeks, it's hard to predict how he will fare on Sundays. But there is evidence to suggest that the Texans might have found a diamond in the rough.
Taylor played in a spread offense most of his career at Indiana. Working out of a shotgun, Taylor never had the chance to pound it between the tackles down after down like he wanted to.
"That wasn't my type of offense," Taylor said. "I need to be going north and south. The West Coast offense had you going mostly east and west, running out of the shotgun. Now with this offense, I feel that this is my type of offense."
Trying to fit a square peg in a round hole never works, but Taylor is using his experiences in college, and the fact that he wasn't drafted, as motivation. He wants to show his true talents, and believes that this offense will allow him to do that.
"I've always felt like I was underrated," he said. "I always felt like I was the underdog and it just made me work even harder.
"Every time I go out there on that practice field I try to show what I can do."
Picking up the Texans' zone-read offense wasn't an issue for Taylor, who has had ample time to study the playbook. Kubiak's support also has helped the learning process.
"He's always told me that I'm going to get my chance this year and that he believes in me," Taylor said of Kubiak. "He has a lot of confidence in me. That's what I like about coach Kubiak. He tells the truth, he's honest with you and I'm glad to play for a coach like that."
Taylor admittedly has been frustrated having to watch from the sidelines, but he's used the time to his advantage by studying coverages, blitz pickups, and the moves of running backs Wali Lundy and Samkon Gado.
Taylor's patience soon will be rewarded. If not this weekend, then perhaps in the final four games of the year. The Texans only hope is that Taylor rewards them with his contributions.
"Everybody gets their opportunity," Taylor said. "It's time for me to get my opportunity and I'm going to be ready to go."