JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jaguars offensive tackle Jawaan Taylor has been preparing for his second season in the NFL.
Between training, Taylor has spent a lot of time fishing and hooked the catch of a lifetime while out fishing with YouTubers. Taylor reeled in Goliath grouper that is estimated to be over 400 pounds. Before reeling in this catch, Taylor said the biggest fish he had ever caught was a 20-pound red snapper.
“I always grew up watching it on YouTube. It really did no justice watching it on YouTube compared to seeing it in person. It is the biggest fish I have ever seen in my life,” Taylor said.
In the picture of Taylor with the fish, you may notice his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, swimming in the water. Taylor said Rosenhaus tried to get him to get in the water but Taylor chose to stay in the boat.
“Everybody one the boat got wet when the fish splashed with its tail. Plus we were on top of a wreck and had like 20 Goliaths under us and there were three or four sharks that were around the boat. So after that I was like, I’m not getting in the water,” Taylor explained.
Taylor said he has been an avid fisher all of his life and may consider participating in the Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament next summer.
“I definitely would love to get into one of these tournaments soon in the next off-season,” he said.
The 2020 off-season is wrapping up with players scheduled to report for training camp on Tuesday. Training camp will be very different because of COVID-19. Taylor says he would never consider sitting the season out because he loves football too much, but he is concerned about his teammates and their health.
“Especially guys on the team who have families at home. Wives, kids, things of that nature. You know, you got a possibility of getting exposed at any time because it is a game where you have to make contact with people at all times. I am definitely worried but I just hope everybody stays healthy,” he said.
When players arrive at the team facility for training camp they will have to test negative twice before they are allowed to go inside. Taylor said he has not been tested for COVID-19 yet and is just a little worried.
The NFL has been working with Oakley on a visor for players to wear on their helmets to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus on the football field. Taylor said he will try out the new visor in practice.
“I already have worn a visor for years now. I have never worn a visor that goes all the way down to the bottom of my facemask,” Taylor said. “If I can’t breathe, I will have to get rid of it and go back to the regular visor.”
The Jaguars offense will be different than it was in 2019 with many new faces expected to see the field this season but one thing that will look very similar to 2019 is the offensive line. The Jaguars are hoping continuity along the O-Line will help them take the next step this season.
“We built up a bond and played together for so long now and playing that many games together and that many practices together, we all trust one another and we play as a unit.” Taylor said. “Being able to have all of those same exact guys this season coming up is great to see. We are looking forward to having a better year than last year.”
Taylor has spent much of the off-season workouts with the man who plays next to him on the offensive line -- A.J. Cann. Taylor said being able to workout with Cann has helped them to straighten their bond and he hopes that it will help them to be on the same page when they step on the football field.
“We definitely building a tighter bond,” Taylor said.
This season, Taylor and his teammates on the offensive line will be planning to block for quarterback Gardner Minshew. Anyone who watched Minshew play last season knows he tends to run around and make plays with his legs. Taylor said he has worked on his cardio this off-season because he knows he has to be able to move to keep up with Minshew.
“I played with a quarterback like that in high school, that duel threat kind of quarterback,” he said. “You always have to keep your head on a swivel.”
The Jaguars will be one of the youngest teams in the NFL in 2020. Taylor knows that means he will have to step up and be a more vocal leader in the locker room. With many people not expecting the Jaguars to have a good season, Taylor says he and his teammates are going to hit the field with a chip on their shoulders and work to prove the doubters wrong.
“We just got something to prove at all times,” he said. “That is how we play. That is how we feel. That is definitely how we will play this year.”