Richard Sherman might be known for his experience and tenure as a cornerback in the NFL, but Jamar Taylor isn't far behind.
There are 25 years of NFL experience between the three 49ers’ defense backs that could all be on the field at the same time on Sunday. Sherman is playing in his tenth season, Taylor is in his eighth and Jason Verrett was the 25th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Taylor, the latest arrival of the three to the Bay Area, has adapted quickly as the 49ers attempt to navigate through a season filled with injuries. The former Miami Dolphins and Cleveland Browns cornerback has enjoyed getting to know Sherman as the All-Pro makes his return to the field after being out since Week 1 with a calf injury.
“He’s great, it’s just like having another coach out there,” Taylor said on Friday. “We talk all the time, just going through different scenarios and he’s just always up on everything, always one step ahead. It’s great to have him back.”
Just because the 49ers secondary is well seasoned, does not mean that they are boring and quiet. Sherman’s prevailing message to the team has been to stay focused but to enjoy preparing for their must-win divisional game against the Los Angeles Rams.
“He’s just a kid out there, a kid having fun,” Taylor said of Sherman. “Good to see him out there, 32-years-old, still making plays. It seems like the ball is always finding him.
“He just talks about being accountable and having fun, enjoying the moment because you never know when it’s going to be taken away from you. And in the midst of all this COVID stuff he’s been reminding the team to have fun and enjoy but at the same time staying locked in and staying focused.”
Taylor has appeared in seven games for the 49ers stepping in for K’Waun Williams who has battled hip, knee and ankle injuries this season.
Taylor has recorded two interceptions, three pass break-ups, one quarterback sack and two QB hits.
Taylor has been impressed with the level of competition he's in Santa Clara as well as the camaraderie in the locker room. He believes the depth and quality of the secondary is better than he’s seen in his career.
As with all players coming back from injury, the 49ers will be careful with Sherman’s return. Taylor will continue to play in the slot with Williams expected to miss another 2-3 weeks with a high ankle sprain.