Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Stepfan Taylor catches a pass from UDFA Caleb TerBush.
You have to want it in this league. Without the drive to make it happen, a player will be washed out in no time flat.
For Arizona’s running backs, they all must prove they have the drive and will to compete for playing time, lest they be passed up on the depth chart.
The situation is familiar to Rashard Mendenhall, who went through the same thing in Pittsburgh for years. He did not last long in the Steel City after ACL surgery.
This is a big year for Mendenhall, an even bigger year for Ryan Williams and the start of a career for rookies Stepfan Taylor and Andre Ellington.
Taylor knows it’s not where you’re drafted, but what you do after being drafted, as he told Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com:
Value will be more on protecting the quarterback, so there will be offensive line and guys like that (drafted in front of running backs). It shouldn’t matter [where you are drafted] because once you get here, you just play and compete. You’re working for that second contract too. […] It doesn’t matter where you are picked.
Taylor is at a disadvantage, however. Due to Stanford using the quarters system for classes, he must stay away from full-team football activities until he has officially graduated.
Arians had this to say of the situation (via AZCardinals.com):
This is a big weekend for him because he can’t come back until training camp [in July]. But he showed exactly what I thought he had—Andrew Luck’s been telling me about him for a year and a half now, and he didn’t disappoint at all.