Didn't see this post and I wanted to address it.
Originally Posted by flave1969
Can I preface this post by saying I think Taylor was a decent player and also the early 90's 49ers belong in this argument especially when you add in Ricky Watters, However.
All good teams spread production, that is what wins championships. Look at my prior post on the Redskins trio Monk, Sanders and Clark. That is three receivers who in seven seasons all exceeded in seven seasons, Taylors production in 9 seasons. The Redskins also threw an awful lot to their RB's as well.
What do you mean by "in 7 seasons they all exceeded Taylor's production in 9?" Taylor wasn't a starter for 9 seasons. He only started 9+ games in 7 of his seasons. As I noted prior, he also missed quite a few games/parts of games in a few of those years. I even forgot to mention that he missed the 2nd half of the 1989 MNF game against the NY Giants, so his production that year was in 14 1/2 games. If you just take out the 7 best seasons of Monk/Clark/Sanders's careers, sure, they have better numbers. But then at least select the 7 best out of Taylor's.
Taylor for his last 7 seasons (1989-1995, 97 games played)--5,122 yards, 39 TDs
Ricky Sanders (1987-1993, 107 games played)--5578 yards, 34 TDs
Art Monk (1983-1989, 100 games played)--7027 yards, 37 TDs
Gary Clark (1985-1991, 106 games played)--7830 yards, 53 TDs
So now the per game averages:
Taylor: 52.8 yards, .402 TDs
Sanders: 52.1 yards, .318 TDs
Monk: 70.27 yards, .37 TDs
Clark: 73.87 yards, .500 TDs
A couple other notes:
1. The Redskins threw the ball more than the 49ers (though it wasn't a dramatic difference)
2. The Redskins didn't throw many passes to their backs. The 49ers had 100+ catches by running backs every season. This was a dramatic difference.
The 49ers had a different type of distribution than the Redskins, in other words...and it involved FAR more passes being thrown to members of the supporting cast. The Redskins focused their passing game on their receiving corps, the 49ers spread it around, involving their backs and the tight end in the passing game. The passes were going to Craig or Watters or Loville, Rathman or Logan or Floyd, Brent Jones, and Jerry Rice, and those exceeded those going to the 2 other Redskin wideouts (whichever aren't the receiver we're comparing to Taylor), their backs, and their tight ends
So now we look at the pass distribution statistics--I’m going to analyze it by showing the number of pass completions to a player OTHER than the one in question out of the number of pass attempts the team threw (as a ratio) for each season during their prime years. In other words, how large a percentage of the team’s pass attempts did the supporting cast take up (completion-wise…we don’t have targeted pass figures, so we have to do without and just assume that number of catches is also a pretty good indicator of how many times that player was targeted overall, at least proportionately). To make this more fair, Taylor’s 1992 season (in which he only played 9 games) will be thrown out.
Let’s start with Taylor:
1989: 60 catches, 279 completions to other players. 483 pass attempts. 279/483=57.8%
1990: 49 catches, 311 completions to other players. 583 pass attempts. 311/583=53.3%
1991: 64 catches, 261 completions to other players. 522 pass attempts. 261/522=50.0%
1993: 56 catches, 298 completions to other players. 524 pass attempts. 298/524=56.9%
1994: 41 catches, 318 completions to other players. 511 pass attempts. 318/511=62.2%
Now the Redskin receivers:
1985: 72 catches, 202 completions to other players. 512 pass attempts. 202/512=39.5%
1986: 74 catches, 202 completions to other players. 542 pass attempts. 202/542=37.3%
1987: 56 catches, 191 completions to other players. 478 pass attempts. 191/478=40.0%
1988: 59 catches, 268 completions to other players. 592 pass attempts. 268/592=45.3%
1989: 79 catches, 258 completions to other players. 581 pass attempts. 258/581=44.4%
1990: 75 catches, 226 completions to other players. 536 pass attempts. 226/536=42.2%
1991: 70 catches, 191 completions to other players. 447 pass attempts. 191/447=42.7%
1983: 47 catches, 231 completions to other players. 463 pass attempts. 231/463=49.9%
1984: 106 catches, 186 completions to other players. 485 pass attempts. 186/485=38.4%
1985: 91 catches, 189 completions to other players. 512 pass attempts. 189/512=36.9%
1986: 73 catches, 203 completions to other players. 542 pass attempts. 203/542=37.5%
1987: 38 catches, 209 completions to other players. 478 pass attempts. 209/478=43.7%
1988: 72 catches, 255 completions to other players. 592 pass attempts. 255/592=43.1%
1989: 86 catches, 251 completions to other players. 581 pass attempts. 251/581=43.2%
1990: 68 catches, 233 completions to other players. 536 pass attempts. 233/536=43.5%
1991: 71 catches, 190 completions to other players. 447 pass attempts. 190/447=42.5%
1987: 37 catches, 210 completions to other players. 478 pass attempts. 210/478=43.9%
1988: 73 catches, 254 completions to other players. 592 pass attempts. 254/592=42.9%
1989: 80 catches, 257 completions to other players. 581 pass attempts. 257/581=44.2%
1990: 56 catches, 245 completions to other players. 536 pass attempts. 245/536=45.7%
1991: 45 catches, 216 completions to other players. 447 pass attempts. 216/447=48.3%
1992: 51 catches, 221 completions to other players. 485 pass attempts. 221/485=45.6%
1993: 58 catches, 229 completions to other players. 533 pass attempts. 229/533=43.0%
I’d say it’s pretty clear cut here.
NOW: Receiver’s catch percentage out of available attempts (to give somewhat of an indication as to whether or not they take advantage of their opportunities):
1989: 60 catches out of 204 remaining pass attempts: 29.4%.
1990: 49 catches out of 272 remaining pass attempts: 18.0%.
1991: 64 catches out of 261 remaining pass attempts: 24.5%.
1993: 56 catches out of 226 remaining pass attempts. 24.8%.
1994: 41 catches out of 193 remaining pass attempts. 21.2%.
1985: 72 catches out of 310 remaining pass attempts. 23.2%
1986: 74 catches out of 340 remaining pass attempts. 21.8%.
1987: 56 catches out of 287 remaining pass attempts. 19.5%.
1988: 59 catches out of 324 remaining pass attempts. 18.2%.
1989: 79 catches out of 323 remaining pass attempts. 24.5%.
1990: 75 catches out of 306 remaining pass attempts. 24.5%.
1991: 70 catches out of 256 remaining pass attempts. 27.3%.
1983: 47 catches out of 232 remaining pass attempts. 20.3%.
1984: 106 catches out of 299 remaining pass attempts. 35.5%.
1985: 91 catches out of 323 remaining pass attempts. 28.2%.
1986: 73 catches out of 339 remaining pass attempts. 21.5%.
1987: 38 catches out of 269 remaining pass attempts. 14.1%.
1988: 72 catches out of 337 remaining pass attempts. 21.4%.
1989: 86 catches out of 330 remaining pass attempts. 26.1%.
1990: 68 catches out of 303 remaining pass attempts. 22.4%.
1991: 71 catches out of 257 remaining pass attempts. 27.6%.
1987: 37 catches out of 268 remaining pass attempts. 13.8%.
1988: 73 catches out of 338 remaining pass attempts. 21.6%.
1989: 80 catches out of 324 remaining pass attempts. 24.7%.
1990: 56 catches out of 291 remaining pass attempts. 19.2%.
1991: 45 catches out of 231 remaining pass attempts. 19.5%.
1992: 51 catches out of 264 remaining pass attempts. 19.3%.
1993: 58 catches out of 304 remaining pass attempts. 19.1%.
With the pass attempts that aren’t completions to another player, Taylor’s catches took up about an equal proportion to Clark (the mean and median actually give the edge to Taylor), meaning he made just as much of his opportunities in terms of catching balls (a rough sketch, obviously, since we don’t have statistics pertaining to the number of times the other players were targeted on passes they didn’t catch, for whatever reason). Taylor had a higher yards/catch average for his career than Clark (16.1 to 15.5), so one would expect Taylor to be at least slightly more productive than Clark given equal distribution for the two players.
As far as Monk is concerned, Monk has the edge in the mean, Taylor in the median. Either way, again, the figures are pretty close when you look at it this way--and Taylor had a 16.1 career yards/catch average to 13.5 for Monk, meaning if they had similar receptions totals (which it appears they would given equal distribution in an offense), Taylor would exceed him in yards. Taylor also had a higher touchdowns per season average than Monk for the 7 best years comparison I did earlier.
Regarding Ricky Sanders, Taylor obviously beats him decisively in terms of this statistic. Again, Taylor had a significantly higher yards/catch average--Sanders averaged 13.4 to Taylor’s 16.1.
Taylor had a higher yards/catch average than every member of that trio. So, all things being equal, one would conclude that Taylor’s numbers would exceed those of each receiver in that trio if he were to have a similar proportion rate.
We have to ask the question.
Is the Rice/Taylor duo only mentioned because of Rice?
Let’s take a look at some of the other guys who played across from Rice…the second leading WR (we‘ll start in 1986 since that‘s when he became the unquestioned go-to guy and had truly emerged):
1986: Dwight Clark: 61-794-2
1987: Mike Wilson: 29-450-5
1988: Mike Wilson: 33-405-3
1995: J.J. Stokes: 38-517-4
It is an interesting one. I agree Taylor was a fine complement to Rice, and I agree that he was a dangerous player especially on returns but he really should have produced more than he did in that company, and a "complete player" would have done more than Taylor.
Completely ridiculous assertion to make…especially given what was presented above. What number 2 receiver in that era was going to put up more than 1,000-1100 yards and 9 or 10 touchdowns (which is what Taylor did during reasonably healthy seasons)? Knock Taylor’s durability if you want…that’s certainly in play…but, as an actual receiver, he was nothing short of phenomenal.
Also, I’m puzzled as to why you say “especially on returns”…when he really only returned punts well for 2 seasons and had a grand total of 2 punt return touchdowns in his career (both coming in 1988). He wasn’t even the best punt returner on the 49ers during the 1980’s (Dana McLemore holds that title). He was a FAR better receiver than return guy.
As far as TO is concerned yes Rice was past his prime, yet was putting up numbers still in excess of those Taylor ever managed, meanwhile Owens in his years with Rice put up 319 receptions, 4758 yards and 43 TD's, equal numbers to Taylor in half the time on a team past its prime..
Only one of the three years Owens and Rice played together did Rice put up numbers that exceeded Taylor’s 1989 season…and it was damn close…AND he had a game and a half more to do it. 1157 yards and 9 touchdowns for Rice in 1998 to 1077 yards and 10 touchdowns for Taylor in 1989. Rice caught the most balls on the team in order to get those numbers, too…whereas Taylor was complimenting Jerry Rice in his prime in 1989.