If all goes according to plan this week, Ravens backup quarterback
But in the time leading up to Sunday’s matchup, Taylor has one of the most critical jobs on the team.
He has to be Michael Vick.
Taylor will work as the scout team quarterback, emulating one of his mentors in an attempt to give the Ravens defense an expectation of what they will face Sunday. The second-year quarterback has a similar skill-set to Vick, which makes him an ideal fit for the job.
"The things that we bring, what I bring to the table and what he brings, kind of overlap,” Taylor said. "It’s kind of easy for me to go out and reenact those things.”
The biggest difference with the two quarterbacks is that Vick is left handed and Taylor throws right. In terms of their speed, which Vick is best known for, Taylor says it’s a pretty even competition.
"I would say he’s quicker, but as far as straight-ahead speed, we’ve done a lot of drills together and worked out. I think we’ve tied a couple times, I’ve got him a couple times, he’s got me a couple times,” Taylor said.
Vick and Taylor have known each other for years. They grew up in neighboring towns in Virginia – Hampton and Newport News – and Taylor remembers watching Vick dominate the high school football scene and then go on to have a standout career at Virginia Tech.
Taylor followed behind Vick at Virginia Tech and broke a number of Vick’s college records. As Taylor was preparing for the NFL draft, Vick trained him and help him adapt to the professional game. The two quarterbacks have remained close since the Ravens drafted Taylor last year and Vick is even helping Taylor get tickets for the game this week.
"That’s my guy,” Vick said. "He’s a great kid. He’s trying to learn as much as he can, and he’s getting better as a quarterback as I watch him.”
After watching Vick play for more than a decade, Taylor knows his game about as well as anymore. That familiarity should help the Ravens.
"I’ve watched him enough through his time in high school, college and a lot of the things he’s done in the NFL,” Taylor said. "He’s one of my favorite guys who plays quarterback. We have a lot of similar things that we bring to the table. Going out there and trying to do some of the things that he does, it’s not that hard for me.”
Head Coach John Harbaugh said that having Taylor run the scout team this week is an asset to help the defense prepare for Vick.
"The good news is we’ve had a chance to prepare for it a little bit, because we have seen Tyrod all through the offseason and all through training camp,” Harbaugh said.
For Taylor, he’s excited about the opportunity to play the role of his mentor during the week of practice.
"He’s meant a lot to me, done a lot of things as far as helping me progress throughout my two years here,” Taylor said. "I’m just looking forward to reenacting some of the things that he does with his offense this week to get our team prepared."