Q+A: Catching Up With Collin Taylor
It was announced in early February that record-setting wide receiver Collin Taylor had signed his contract to return to the Cleveland Gladiators. ClevelandGladiators.com caught up with CT to learn more about his offseason and find out what he's looking forward to this upcoming season!
ClevelandGladiators.com: What did your offseason look like?
Collin Taylor: I've had a great offseason! It was a cut a little short this year after getting the incredible opportunity to play and ultimately win a world championship in China (CAFL). As soon as I got home I had to spend a few days getting used to the schedule and the food again, but after that I got right back into my offseason training. I linked up with the great crew at Force Barbell and immediately began getting stronger and faster in preparation for the 2017 season. Outside of training I was able to keep myself busy by traveling as well as spending time with my family and friends, who I don't get a ton of time with during the season.
Goals for upcoming season?
I can't be more excited to get this season started. We fell short of our goals and expectations last year, but are ready to get to work and make sure we do everything we can for that not to happen again. Individually, I want to continue to play my best football. I've never been able to set specific goals based on numbers, because you never know what formula will lead to the most wins during the year. I want to bring as much excitement to our Cleveland fans as possible, so that means winning games and scoring touchdowns. I'd be too predictable to mention the ultimate goal, but I will say, winning the championship in China has made me even hungrier to win one back here in the states, and this team has the talent to do that.
What do you think new coaching staff brings to the team?
This staff brings experience, confidence, and a great deal of knowledge to our 2017 team. Coach Selesky has always been a guy I've loved going to war with. His passion for the game is unmatched and as a player you want to do anything and everything you can to win for him, because you know he will do the same for you. I'm really excited to see what the rest of the staff has to offer. They all come with resumes that have a long list of accomplishments, including their experience as players. This is one of, if not the best, staff in the Arena Football League.
When you get back to Cleveland for upcoming season is there anything you are looking forward to doing/places you look forward to going?
I'm always looking forward to getting back to Cleveland. With it being my 4th season I've been able to gain relationships in the city, and I love getting back and seeing the people I've missed since August. I always look forward to supporting the Cavs and the Monsters, watching March Madness at City Tap, and being able to do day-to-day stuff with my teammates. Not to mention, as soon as the weather warms up, getting back up to Cedar Point, my favorite place on the planet.
When you look at schedule are there any dates/ match-ups that you are looking forward to?
As a player, you really look forward to every single time you get to step on the field and showcase the work your team has put in. Obviously, I circle every game against Philly. It's been such a great rivalry against those guys the last few seasons and I know the fans love to watch those games just as much as we love playing in them. Another date I'm looking forward to is our home opener. Our fans always give us that home field advantage It'll be great to see them, and it'll be great to see a ton of #17 jerseys from our season ticket holders!
What factored into your decision to come back to Cleveland for the 2017 season?
There are so many things that factored in my decision to come back to Cleveland for the ‘17 season. That bad taste hasn't gone away after the National Conference Champiosnhip loss a few months ago. I spoke to Arvell, Q, and Devin every single day, talking about how we’re going to get redemption from that game, and it has driven our hard work throughout this offseason. Another major key was the talent level of the players that the coaching staff was bringing in. On paper, this is the best Cleveland team that has, in my mind, ever been assembled, and I wanted to be an intricate part of building this team into a champion. Finally, and probably most importantly to me, is the conversations I'd had with my family regarding where to play. We've really fallen in love with the city of Cleveland over the last few years and it was incredibly tough to even think about being anywhere else for the season.
Thoughts on the Super Bowl? Who were you rooting for?
That was the greatest Super Bowl I've had the pleasure of watching. After the first half, a lot of fans had given up and checked out. We had a pretty good debate going in a group chat, and a few of us made the note that you can never sleep on Tom Brady. Spoiler alert..he showed why he's the greatest QB in NFL history and mounted an exciting come back that led to that overtime win. I wasn't leaning either way before kickoff, but I found myself, about three quarters in, cheering for the Patriots. What a game! It gave me flashbacks to 2014 Glads vs Philly!