Jim Taylor Green Bay Packers & New Orleans Saints

"You got to enjoy punishment because you are going to deliver so much of it, and you are going to get so much of it…If you are prepared you don’t really feel the punishment during the game.”

When Vince Lombardi took over the Green Bay coaching reins in 1959, fullback Jim Taylor became the Packers' bread-and-butter guy. Lombardi depended upon him to get the needed short yardage whether it was for a first down or a touchdown.

As the Packers’ dynasty grew, so too did Taylor become the symbol of power in the awesome Green Bay attack. Jim was a throwback to an earlier era, who ran with a fierceness no one could match. He caught the short swing passes and blocked with rugged determination.

Thousand-yard seasons became a specialty for Taylor. He went over 1,000 yards five straight seasons beginning in 1960 but reached his zenith in 1962, when he had a career-high 1,474 yards and was named the NFL Player of the Year.

Jim was living testimony to the popular football adage "When the going gets tough, the tough get going." Nowhere was this more evident than in the 1962 NFL title game. Playing on a bitter-cold day, Taylor engaged in a personal duel with the New York Giants' outstanding defense, led by All-Pro linebacker Sam Huff. Jim carried 31 times for 85 yards and scored Green Bay's only touchdown in a 16-7 victory. He took a fearful pounding both from the hard-hitting Giants and the frozen ground. He suffered an elbow gash that took seven stitches to close at halftime and a badly cut tongue. At the end, he could scarcely see and he couldn't talk.

Taylor was often compared with Jim Brown, the Cleveland fullback, who played at the same time. There were many different viewpoints but Lombard's summation was most succinct. "Jim Brown will give you that leg and then take it away from you. Jim Taylor will give it to you and then ram it through your chest!"