Kansas City Chiefs right tackle Jawaan Taylor was so thrown off by the officiating in Week 2 that head coach Andy Reid had to pull him from the game momentarily — just to sort of reset his big-money blocker. Big Red’s message to Taylor on those issues?
“You’re going to have a lot of eyes on you when you come [to Kansas City], first of all,” Reid told reporters on September 18. “The week before, on the Thursday game, it was publicized and scrutinized. Now all of a sudden, you’ve put the officials on red alert, and rightfully so.
“It wasn’t like they were off on the calls they had him on this week,” Reid said. “It was the same crew that worked training camp. They know. They could see it there, and they saw it firsthand here. They were going to call it. Jawaan was aware of that. He knows, and he tried to tame it down a little bit but as the game went on, it got him there.”
After Taylor’s fourth penalty in Jacksonville, Reid replaced him with Prince Tega Wanogho. Shortly after, the starting right tackle returned to the game and seemed to “tame [his get-off] down,” as Reid suggested. Taylor did finish the outing with a horrid five penalties according to Pro Football Focus but on the bright side, he was charged with zero quarterback pressures in pass protection.
Andy Reid Says Chiefs ‘Can Fix’ RT Jawaan Taylor After Worrisome Start
Considering the Chiefs spent $80 million on Taylor — including $40 million in fully guaranteed money according to Over the Cap — his first two starts in KC are a bit worrisome. Reid did not seem all that concerned on the Monday following Week 2, however.
“Well, he’s a good football player,” Reid said. “He’s naturally quick without having to cheat on that thing or get caught on it. And he’s strong, so he doesn’t need to do that. He’s a smart kid.”
“We can fix it,” he said. “He’s been doing this for a number of years, and he works extremely hard at it, but once you’ve had three of them in a row or so, and they don’t get called — then you have a new crew coming in. They’re going to have an eye on you. You’ve got to back up. He’s got to back up and start over on this and just slow it down. He’s plenty quick [enough] to take care of that.”
After the game on September 17, Reid said that Taylor “had some big blocks” later in the game after his brief reset on the sidelines. “He did a nice job finishing,” he said.
Chiefs’ Jawaan Taylor Should Have Easier Matchup in Week 3 vs. Bears
It hasn’t been the easiest set up for Taylor out of the gates. First, he was asked to contain 2022 No. 2 overall pick Aidan Hutchinson, followed by a ferocious Jaguars rotation that includes former first-round selections in Josh Allen and Travon Walker — drafted just before Hutchinson.
Right tackle is becoming just as important as the blindside in the modern-day NFL, which is part of the reason general manager Brett Veach paid Taylor in the first place.
Having said that, Week 3 should provide the newcomer’s most favorable matchup so far. The Chicago Bears do have Yannick Ngakoue on the edge, as well as Demarcus Walker and Dominique Robinson, but this isn’t as dangerous of a crew as Jacksonville and none of these three are as much of a constant handful as Hutchinson.
Ngakoue currently leads the Bears defensive end room with seven QB pressures in 2023, but it’s unclear which offensive tackle he’ll match up against on September 24.