Eagles training camp 2022: What Davion Taylor learned in 1st preseason game

What Davion Taylor learned about himself in 1st preseason game originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Davion Taylor admitted he was a little rusty in the Eagles’ preseason opener Friday, playing for the first time since November.

He also learned something.

“The speed (of the game),” Taylor said, “has slowed down for me.”

Taylor, who turned 24 earlier this month, was starting to find a rhythm last season before injuring his knee in Week 11. After surgery to repair his MCL, Taylor began the rehab process and has looked the part so far this summer. He now finds himself in a crowded linebacker room, but Taylor might just earn some playing time in Year 3.

The knock on Taylor has always been his lack of experience. He didn’t really start playing football until college and he was drafted in the third round out of Colorado back in 2020 because of his athleticism.

We all knew he was raw.

Now it seems like things are coming a little more naturally for him.

“I know it’s just a preseason game but it really has slowed down,” Taylor said. “I was able to make some things happen before they actually happened, like putting some things in my mind. It was a pretty good first game for me even though it was a preseason.”

When the Eagles drafted Taylor, they knew he might not step in and immediately be a major contributor on defense, but they were willing to play the long game. Taylor is incredibly athletic; he has all the physical tools. To his credit, the young linebacker has also been willing to put in extra work and spends an awful lot of time around linebackers coach Nick Rallis.

But in 2020, Taylor was limited to just 12 total games. In 2021, he played just nine.

So while he was rehabbing from that torn MCL and subsequent surgery, Taylor has implemented as many measures as possible to stay healthy. It might not prevent major injury, but Taylor is at least hoping he can avoid soft tissue injuries.

These days, Taylor gets a massage every morning. He does yoga two times per week. He endures the hot and cold tubs. He works on his diet. He even uses some newer school approaches with cryotherapy and the hyperbaric chamber.

“Just doing anything I can do to keep my body healthy for the season,” Taylor said.

Many of those are suggestions from the Eagles and some are from his strength coaches back in Colorado. Taylor’s emphasis on taking care of his body is part of his maturation process as an NFL player.

The Eagles bring back T.J. Edwards from last season and added Kyzir White and Nakobe Dean in the offseason. It might not be easy for Taylor to find playing time in 2022.

But he’s been making plays in training camp and if he really is getting to a point where his natural athleticism can shine, the Eagles might have something.

“I know the defense like the back of my hand so I don’t have to think before it happens,” Taylor said. “Now, I know what adjustments I have to make. So now it’s just letting my athleticism just go and just play fast.”

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