Fred Taylor: Return of Tom Coughlin 'a great addition'

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JACKSONVILLE – Fred Taylor likes a couple of things around the Jaguars these days.

One thing is a new thing, and the Jaguars’ career rushing yards leader said he likes much about what he sees from Jaguars rookie running back Leonard Fournette.

That was one of several topics Taylor discussed Wednesday on Jaguars.com LIVE, an appearance he made with Jaguars rookie defensive end Dawuane Smoot.

Taylor on Wednesday also discussed former Jaguars Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s return to the organization as executive vice president of football operations. Taylor visited EverBank Field Wednesday for the first time since Coughlin re-joined the organization in January.

“It’s the first time I’ve seen him since he’s been back, and I think he’s going to be a great addition,” said Taylor, who played for Coughlin with the Jaguars from 1998-2002.

Taylor, the No. 9 overall selection in the 1998 NFL Draft by the Jaguars, rushed for 11,271 yards in 10 seasons with the franchise. Fournette became the earliest-drafted back in franchise history when the Jaguars selected him No. 4 overall in the 2017 NFL Draft.

“He’s a huge guy who moves like he’s 215 [pounds], but with a lot of power and torque behind it,” Taylor said of the 6-feet-0, 228-pound Fournette. “He has big arms, so he can stiff-arm you and keep you away. He has great reach and catches the ball well.

“He has a solid jump cut where he can get outside and run away from people. Safeties better be aware and cornerback s better pay a lot of attention to him.”

Taylor said how Fournette adjusts to an NFL routine compared to college will be important in his transition.

“I’d just like to make sure he stays the course – get here and understand what the business is about and understand why he was chosen that high,” Taylor said. “The team has expectations. If he can juggle that piece and learn how to create a routine … once he develops a routine and learns how to take care of his body – barring any malicious injury or anything – he can be a kid who can play 10-plus years.”

Smoot, the Jaguars’ third-round selection in the ’17 draft, said he believes he is adjusting well to the NFL during the team’s voluntary offseason program currently being held at EverBank.

“I feel like I’m getting comfortable,” Smoot said. “I’m just taking it day-by-day, honestly. It’s tough coming in, figuring out a new system and a new schedule, but it’s getting better day-by-day.””

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