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Rookie WR Taywan Taylor Shines in First NFL Game

Posted Aug 12, 2017

Titans rookie receiver Taywan Taylor led the team in receptions -- and he had an acrobatic catch – in Saturday’s preseason game against the Jets.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Taywan Taylor’s dream came true here on Saturday night.

The Titans receiver, who starred at Western Kentucky, soaked in the moment as he suited up for his first NFL game, the team’s preseason opener against the New York Jets.

“It was surreal,’’ Taylor said. “Putting on a Titans jersey for the first time, it was unbelievable. It’s definitely something I will never forget.”

But Taylor knows it’s just a start.

A third-round pick by the Titans in the NFL Draft, Taylor had a memorable first game in the team’s 7-3 loss to the Jets. He led the team with four catches for 56 yards, and his night included a spectacular catch that nearly went for a touchdown. Taylor will have to wait for his first score, but it didn’t take away from a solid start in the preseason.

“Those are things we’ve seen from him day in and day out in training camp,” quarterback Marcus Mariota said. “It is kind of the expectation level for him, and we have to find ways to get him the ball and let him do his thing.”

Taylor’s acrobatic catch was initially ruled a 67-yard touchdown. After review, officials ruled Taylor was down by contact after a 42-yard gain, however.

“I thought it was a touchdown for sure,” Taylor said. “I just tried to be on alert. I tried to get up, run in the end zone and make a play for the team. Coach (Mike) Mularkey has been preaching all training camp and offseason – the play is never over in the NFL. I tried to get up and make a play.”

Taylor said he thinks he did fairly well in his first game, but said he needs to clean some things up to get better.

Already he’s made a good impression on his teammates.

“I love him,” veteran receiver Rishard Matthews said of Taylor. “He brings a hard-working work ethic, and he doesn’t complain. He just goes out there and does what he is asked. He is very coachable, and I think he is going to make big plays in this league.”