If there’s any luck involved in maintaining a long and successful NFL career, Tyrod Taylor could say his good fortune began the moment he was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens more than a decade ago.
Although being selected in the sixth round in 2011 wasn’t his ideal draft-day scenario, sharing a locker room with a group of Hall of Fame mentors— including Ray Lewis, Ed Reed as well as Pro Bowl wide receiver Anquan Boldin—provided the type of football intangible not every athlete immediately realizes they need. Taylor, though, still applies the lessons he was able to absorb from watching the veterans—consistency and preparation—and continue to apply them throughout his career.
Now in his 13th season, the New York Giants quarterback is still performing at a high level with no signs of slowing down in sight.
“Everyone’s not so fortunate to walk into a locker room with such veteran presence and Hall of Fame guys, so I’m very thankful for the lessons I learned from them,” Taylor says. “They didn’t pull you under their wing necessarily, but if you gravitated toward them and showed that you tried to better yourself, they would share as much knowledge as possible.”
Throughout his career, Taylor has become a Super Bowl champion, earned a Pro Bowl appearance. He’s also been benched, bounced back, and has led his team to the playoffs.
Now, at 34, it’s Taylor’s turn to provide the veteran leadership to a young Giants squad—the same advice he received as a rookie still applies—and at the same time he continues working and training like a rookie to be ready to fill in when starting QB Daniel Jones goes down.
“I’m just kind of like in the same position as those guys when it comes to experience and veteran presence,” Taylor says. “So, anything I can share in the locker room now with the younger players about a routine is important because the season is so long.”
Physically, at age 34, Taylor says he may be in the best shape of his football career. A shirtless summer selfie Taylor posted showed a six-pack physique strong enough to take on the NFL punishment while also be ready to take on a photo fashion shoot, which is a good thing considering his successful side hustle—co-creator of the popular fashion line Diallo, just wrapped up an appearance at New York Fashion Week.
Taylor got his first start of the season on Oct. 14 when Jones went down with a neck injury. The 6’1’’ QB put in a solid performance by throwing for 200 yards in a tough 14-9 loss to his former team, the Buffalo Bills. Taylor proved, physically and athletically, that he was ready to step in when needed. It’s a part of always being prepared.
“My body feels amazing,” Taylor says. “I was fortunate to be drafted by a team with a bunch of veterans who taught me about the importance of having routines. Obviously you have to apply yourself, so now I take control of my training, what I put in my body and just continue challenging myself.”
Training is a Core Responsibility for Tyrod Taylor
One key lesson he learned as a rookie still apply in Year 13: Having a consistent routine during the weekdays sets you up for your best on gameday. So everything he puts in his body or what he puts up in the weightroom, has become part of a successful daily regimen.
Taylor kicks off his day with a fresh glass of fruit and vegetable juice before making his way to the Giants facility at 6 a.m. Although the first team meeting isn’t until at 8:30—which involves game-week preparations such as going over new offensive plays being implemented to reviewing over the defensive looks they’ll be seeing that Sunday—the QB first gets in his workout as well as any other prehab work to get prepared for the day’s practice.
“This is kind of my routine,” he says. “I’ll knock out a workout, then do some modalities of recovery for that workout and then get myself ready for practice.”
Taylor has come to rely on core work to maintain his all-around athleticism, especially following suffering a sports hernia injury in 2017 with the Bills as well as a rib injury in 2020 with the LA Chargers. All the power, he says, whether it’s throwing the deep ball, or being forced to scramble out of the pocket, requires plenty of hip power.
“Quarterback is a rotational position, it’s where we need to generate all of our power,” he says. He adds that core work “just helps me squat better, move better with power cleans, bench presses. And all those lifts generate more and more speed as led to which is the nature of our game.”
When the team walk-throughs and more film study have been completed—which on some days can be around 7 p.m., Taylor heads home for dinner, usually prepared by his personal chef. Like everything else, Taylor’s meal is usually consistent—12 ounces of any variety of protein (anything other than red meat, he says) along with at least two cups of vegetables. His dinner, he says, usually mirrors his lunch.
Throughout the day, Taylor will sprinkle in a protein smoothie as well as a bowl of oatmeal and fruit to maintain energy and his look. The routine may sound boring and repetitive, but if it’s worked this long, why change. It’s the message he likes to share with younger teammates.
“A lot of younger players don’t necessarily understand the importance of just the day-to-day routine,” Taylor says. “You may not feel like doing it after a loss or even after a win sometimes. But you have to continue hitting the reset button. There’s some stuff you can’t control when it comes to injury, but it’s good to put yourself in the best situation physically and mentally when it comes to creating a routine.”
Look Good, Feel Good
There’s a little bit of added pressure to look good on Sundays, especially when you own your own clothing line. So while fashion never takes top priority over football, Taylor admits to spending just a little extra time getting wardrobe ready.
“You plan for what looks you want to carry throughout the season,” Taylor says. “Sometimes it takes weeks in advance, sometimes less. But it’s never day of the game. I’m strictly focused on the game.”
Taylor is becoming equally known as a full-fledged fashionista by way of Diallo, the fashion brand he created with his friend and business partner Dex Robinson. The two just recently showcased their latest product line in Tribeca during New York Fashion Week. “It’s awesome,” Taylor says. “This was our second time in New York, and I was fortunate to do one in Paris Fashion Week as well.”
The duo has labeled Diallo “The NEW Luxury,” as they claim their fashion vision embodies their dedication to celebrating individuality, among both athletes and the fashion crowds. For an NFL quarterback and clothing mogul, it’s hard to create a fashion line without meshing the two worlds together. Taylor made sure to check that box by designing the iconic crop top mesh, a style made popular during the college football days of the ‘80s and ‘90s and now being brought back to mainstream, with Taylor’s help.
“I think tying athletics to higher fashion, it’s something that people watch every day, but also people get dressed as well to try to create more normalcy in their everyday attire,” he says. “With Diallo, we want to be as transitional as possible throughout each season.”
Maintaining a Next Man Up Mentality
Taylor’s role as the man dates back to his high school days. As a junior, he led Hampton High to the Virginia state championship. At Virginia Tech he was named 2010 ACC player of the year. Highlights of his NFL career include earning a Super Bowl ring with the Ravens in 2013, and making the Pro Bowl in 2015 with the Buffalo Bills after throwing for 20 touchdowns. In 2017, Taylor led the Bills to their first playoff appearance in 17 seasons, with a New Year’s Eve victory on the road over the Miami Dolphins.
The victory ride back still remains one of Taylor’s proudest achievements, especially after bouncing back from an injury and being benched earlier in the season.
“To break the streak, and taking that plane ride home from Miami into the Buffalo snow with a crazy ton of Bills fans waiting, that was a special moment for me, overcoming some things to be able to share it with the rest of my teammates,” Taylor recalls.
Now in his second season with the Giants, he’s the next man up, always having to be prepared and ready if Jones goes down. Besides focusing on his own preparation, it’s up to Taylor to help prepare Jones for the week’s opponent while at the same time aiding the defense by re-creating the opposing team’s offensive looks. Taylor says there’s more to football than what viewers see on Sundays.
“My role is how to get myself ready for any situation that I have to go into, and it’s also to help better our quarterback room, and that’s helping DJ, with his prep and any advice I can offer,” Taylor says. “Everything starts with an extension of our coaching staff. So we have to be on the same page, keep the energy in the room, and help DJ in any aspect he needs, while at the same time making sure I’m ready to go both physically and mentally to perform at a high level.”
He also knows over his 13-year career that by staying consistent has helped him continue to perform on the big stage. And he hopes that by knowing his position and working as a team and coming through spreads to the rest of the team as the season progresses.
“It’s not up to me to be Superman,” Taylor says. “You have to play your role and play it a high level. That’s not just myself but for every position.”