Stepfan Taylor was not the last of the Arizona Cardinals’ rookies to take the field with the team.
However, having missed minicamps and OTAs due to academic requirements at Stanford, training camp is really his first chance to be with the team and show the coaches what he can do.
“These reps, actually going through the motions and hearing the plays and seeing the adjustments on the field is big for me,” he told Arizona Sports 620’s Bickley with Marotta Tuesday.
Taylor was selected by Arizona in the fifth round, number 140 overall. The Cardinal’s all-time leader in career rushing yards, he enters camp as one of many running backs looking to earn a spot on the roster.
Because along with Taylor, the Cardinals have Rashard Mendenhall, Andre Ellington, Alfonso Smith and Ryan Williams vying for reps.
“We all know we’re all great backs, so that’s pushing our game, elevating our game because we’ve got to compete,” Taylor said. “You see them make a good play and the next person wants to make a good play.”
Taylor said the competition will only help the running backs improve, and thus the team will benefit, too.
Needless to say, Taylor is happy to finally be part of it all.
“I’m one of those people that it’s great to be around your teammates because you build trust and respect and that me being away, it didn’t feel right to me,” Taylor added. “It was definitely rough but I had to.”
That’s all in the past, as Taylor is here and ready to get to work. The biggest adjustment, he said, is getting used to the speed, terminology and plays.
“How the coaches want things done at this level, rather than at the college level,” he said.
Finally, Taylor is done with college. Now it’s time to see what kind of pro he’ll become.