Jim Tay­lor, Hall of Fame full­back for Pack­ers, 83

Boston Herald - - OBITUARIES -

Jim Tay­lor, the fe­ro­cious Hall of Fame full­back who em­bod­ied the Green Bay Pack­ers’ un­stop­pable ground game dur­ing the Vince Lom­bardi era and helped the team win four NFL ti­tles and the first Su­per Bowl, died Satur­day. He was 83.

He died un­ex­pect­edly at a hos­pi­tal in his home­town of Ba­ton Rouge, La., the team said.

Mr. Tay­lor played on the great Packer teams and was the league’s MVP in 1962. He scored the first rush­ing touch­down in Su­per Bowl his­tory.

“He was a gritty, clas­sic player on the Lom­bardi teams and a key fig­ure of those great cham­pi­onship runs,” Pack­ers Pres­i­dent Mark Mur­phy said of the player who left his mark on “mul­ti­ple gen­er­a­tions of Pack­ers fans.”

Mr. Tay­lor was voted into the Hall in 1976. David Baker, pres­i­dent of the Hall, lauded Mr. Tay­lor for not only per­son­i­fy­ing Lom­bardi’s “run to day­light” phi­los­o­phy but for liv­ing his life as he played game, with “pas­sion, de­ter­mi­na­tion and love for all he did.”

Mr. Tay­lor spent 10 sea­sons in the NFL af­ter be­ing drafted in the sec­ond round out of LSU in 1958. He joined a back­field that fea­tured Paul Hor­nung and be­gan to thrive when Lom­bardi took over in 1959.

Lom­bardi de­vised the Pack­ers’ “Sweep,” which fea­tured pulling guards Jerry Kramer and Fuzzy Thurston clear­ing the path for Mr. Tay­lor or Hor­nung run­ning around the end. The 6-foot, 216-pound Mr. Tay­lor best ful­filled the play’s pun­ish­ing ef­fec­tive­ness, a work­horse al­ways charg­ing for­ward, drag­ging would-be tack­lers along.

“He taught me lots of char­ac­ter, and virtues, and prin­ci­ples,” Mr. Tay­lor said of Lom­bardi, with whom he oc­ca­sion­ally feuded, in a 2001 in­ter­view with the Pro Foot­ball Hall of Fame. “He es­tab­lished a cal­iber of foot­ball that he felt like would be cham­pi­onship.”

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