It was a challenging sophomore season for receiver Trent Taylor. He seemed primed for a breakout season in 2018 but was held back by a surgical procedure on his back that ended up having more of an impact on his play than predicted by the 49ers staff, or even Taylor himself.
Taylor played in 15 games in his rookie campaign and recorded 43 catches for 430 yards and two touchdowns in 2017. But Year 2 did not go as planned, as he played in 14 games with 26 catches for 216 yards.
Taylor spoke to NBC Sports Bay Area and believes 2019 is going to be different. He plans on taking advantage of his new resource: Wes Welker. He is also looking towards an off season where there are less elements going against him.
Richard Sherman noted at the end of the season that not having the worry about rehabbing makes an offseason much more enjoyable and productive. Taylor agrees whole-heartedly.
“I think that’s just such an advantage,” Taylor said, “to be able to only think about building your body up with no limitations going on. I think whenever you have to worry about an injury throughout the offseason there’s so much you have to hold back from.
“I feel like everybody in the country is working, so if you’re not working your body, in the best way that you possibly can, then you’re slowly getting behind every day. I think once you know that you’re behind, then you feel like you’re playing catch up. It just messes with your mind.”
Taylor has already started his offseason training program, working in San Jose. He says he is finally back to normal, not needing to compensate for his injury.
“I feel like my back is back to normal now,” Taylor said. “I just knew that I needed a little more time than I was able to get throughout the season. That’s why I’ve been really looking forward to this offseason.
“Getting back to building my body up the right way. I’m feeling great right now. We’re going to continue working on that and building myself up so I can be ready to have a great season next year.”
Taylor repeatedly mentioned having a “dog mentality” while looking forward to his third year in the NFL. It’s something he admired about Welker’s game and it’s how he is going to approach next season. Being healthy at the beginning of the offseason is how he says it started.
“To be able to have a fresh mind and a fresh body getting ready for next season feels great,” Taylor said. “I’ll be keeping that dog mentality about myself.”
Last season’s disappointment is not lost on Taylor. He wants to get that taste out of his mouth as soon as possible.
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“Just reminiscing on last year, all of the failed expectations that happened,” Taylor said, "I just like to soak in those feelings, remember them and use those as a little motivation to make sure that never happens again.
"So it’s something I’m going to be working at every day and it will take a lot of work, but I’m ready for it.”