Tyrod Taylor, Wildcat Helps Spark Run Game


Tyrod Taylor knew coming into Sunday's game against the Jets that he could see an increased role on offense. 

With the Ravens' struggling running game facing the NFL's best run defense, the coaches had a package of plays built around the backup quarterback's dynamic skillset. Taylor provided a spark to the offense, and played a bigger role than he ever has in a meaningful regular-season game.

"It felt good to get out there to try to make a couple plays, spark the offense a little bit and throw the defense off," Taylor said. "It wasn't perfect, but there were some positives in there."

The Ravens used Taylor all over the field, lining him up at quarterback, wide receiver and running back. He ran the read option, caught a pass and was also used on reverses.

"We felt like it was something that could really help our run game, especially against this defense, and that's how we used it," Head Coach John Harbaugh said.

Taylor finished the game with four rushing attempts for seven yards and one reception for six yards. His first rushing attempt of the day came on a read-option that he broke for a 17-yard gain. He also had one pass attempt, which bounced off tight end Ed Dickson's hands.

Taylor flashed the speed and elusiveness that he has showcased in limited opportunities with the Ravens, and his teammates came away impressed.

"It's really cool," wide receiver Torrey Smith said. "He's a weapon. Tyrod can literally do anything on the football field. You have a guy like that and you have to figure out a way to use him, and it kind of keeps teams off balance."

Part of the reason the Ravens wanted to use Taylor was to give the Jets defense a variety of looks, and Taylor said that the Ravens initially caught New York by surprise.

"There was definitely some confusion early on," he said.

Since drafting Taylor in 2011, the Ravens have flirted with the idea of giving him a larger role on the offense. He has seen limited reps at times, but has mostly served as a backup behind Joe Flacco, who has not missed a start in his career.

After the game, Taylor said "maybe we can build on this in the future."

Harbaugh, however, did not want to give any indication about the Ravens' plan for Taylor.

"I can't tell you," Harbaugh said, not wanting to tip his hand to future opponents. "I can't comment on that, as you all know. We'll see."

One point Harbaugh did emphasize is that he views Taylor as a quarterback, and has no plans to move him to another position on the field. Taylor also stressed that he doesn't have any plans to try to move to receiver or running back to get on the field more.

"He's a special athlete," Harbaugh said. "He happens to play quarterback – I want to emphasize that. But he's also got other skills that he can help us with."

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