“Scary” is the one word that epitomizes Lawrence Taylor. He regularly brought fear and pain to the offenses that he played against throughout the 12 years that he played in the NY Giants’ defense. Taylor was a freak of nature. He was a large, ferocious linebacker that could outrun most skill positions, but we’ll get to that. He changed pass rushing schemes and offensive formations. Lawrence Taylor was one of the most revolutionizing players the National Football League has seen.
L.T. played in 10 pro bowls, 9 of which he was first team All-Pro. He was a two-time Super Bowl Champion. In 1986, his first year, Taylor claimed the Rookie of the Year and the Defensive player of the Year, a feat that rarely occurs. In fact, through the course of his career, he won Defensive player of the Year a record three times. A real testament to his greatness is that he is one of only two defensive players to win the National Football League Most Valuable Player award, and the only one to win it unanimously. By the awards, Lawrence Taylor is possibly the best defensive player to reach the NFL. His dominance in the 1980′s and 90′s to date has not been duplicated.
The myth surrounding L.T. is feasibly more impressive than the numbers suggest. Lawrence Taylor weighed in at 250 pounds during his NFL days, and was rumored to have run a 4.4 forty-yard dash. For those of you new to sports talk, that means that a very angry, large muscled man potentially ran 40 yards in 4.4 seconds. And there is some truth to this myth because he was clocked on the forty at 4.5 seconds numerous times. Lawrence Taylor revolutionized the way the game is played today. He sped around the field with the same speed as wide receivers and running backs, which are the fastest offensive positions. Plus, he outweighed most of them by fifty pounds. He personally made the position of left tackle the highest paid position in the NFL during his playing time. L.T. assaulted quarterbacks so consistently, that coaches and general mangers were forced to find athletes that could subdue him for the minuscule 3-5 seconds that it took to successfully complete passes.
A new breed of athlete had to be found to slow Taylor. Prior to Lawrence Taylor, that position averaged around 6 feet and weighed about 280 lbs. Those figures with the help of Taylor’s devastating blindside rush, inflated to the current average of 6’6″ and 300+ pounds. And, he still managed to regularly sack quarterbacks through blinding quickness and sheer power. The next step was to double-team him or put more than one person between Taylor and the ball. He changed offensive formations with his relentless attacks.
Lawrence Taylor holds the unofficial title of “Best Defensive Player” in the history of the National Football League, and is arguably the best football player ever. Through his freakish athleticism, and pure will, Taylor assaulted not only quarterbacks, but also the way football was played. In a high collision sport, he caused the most chaos and inadvertently built the league into what it is now. Lawrence Taylor’s career in this sport was more dominant than anyone the game has seen and he was, put plainly “Scary.”