Dorados fans watching or listening to their team play in Tulsa Friday night might've been surprised to hear Ramonce Taylor's name called. Taylor, the TD & all-purpose yardage leader for the 2005 National Champion Texas Longhorns, started the season with the Golden Ones, but left the Valley after playing only one game.
Taylor headed north of the border for training camp with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League, signing there last month. But Taylor, slated to be Winnipeg's kick returner, was cut two weeks in, and both the Bombers' coach & GM let the Texas-Ex have it on the way out of town:
"I said all along that athletic ability is about fifth on our list of requirements that are needed in order for you to be a Winnipeg Blue Bomber," Winnipeg Head Coach Mike Kelly said. "He didn't uphold very well in the first four. I'm looking for mature individuals here that know how to handle themselves as professionals."
"There's obviously physical, natural talent there, but when you have 50% mental mistakes in the game, that's hard to overcome," Director of player personnel John Murphy said.Ouch. Those quotes came exactly 9 days after these:
"(Taylor's) an impressive young man athletically," said Winnipeg Head Coach Mike Kelly. "He's handled himself extremely well. He's very personable, a very nice young man. I don't know if I've seen anybody catch punts as relaxed as he does. He's just very natural at what he does. He's got a long way to go, he's raw. He's got a long way to go in learning how to play the game and how to play the position, but his natural skills certainly are impressive.
"He brings up a lot of very good questions, he is very football smart and he's trying to adapt and embrace the Canadian game. He's constantly asking questions that are sensible questions. He wants to do well and that's half the battle right there."Anybody want to guess what exactly happened in those 9 days of camp to so drastically change Kelly's opinion of Taylor? That's quite the 180, no?Taylor rejoined the Dorados in Tulsa, technically "activated from team suspension", and immediately paid dividends, catching a TD pass from Josh Kellett late in the loss to the Talons.