Coming off the 2010 season, the Browns needed a major upgrade for their aging defensive line. The 2011 Draft had loads of first round talent and the Browns found a quality nose tackle in Phil Taylor, who was selected at 21st overall. I really liked this pick from the beginning because he seemed like a tough guy to have on our team, and that’s what we needed as we continued to rebuild.
During the 2012 offseason, Phil tore a pectoral muscle while lifting weights and we feared we lost him for the entire season. At first, it seemed like that’s what was going to happen but it turned out to only be half the season. Phil returned during a home game against Baltimore and played the rest of the season for us.
In 2013, Phil found a new bill of health and played in 15 of the games that year. Though his stats started to slow down some since his breakout rookie campaign, he still was the guy you wanted out there. His presence and no nonsense attitude were enough to keep running backs honest and they thought twice about running at him. He was just the true definition of gritty Browns football.
In 2014, Phil’s final season in Cleveland, injuries again became a concern. After four games, Phil suffered a knee injury that sidelined him for several weeks. He returned for one final game against the Cincinnati Bengals before injuring his other knee, forcing him to miss the rest of the season with surgery. Coming into the 2015 preseason, Phil was unexpectedly cut from the team, thus ending his time here in Cleveland.
Take care, Big Dawg!