Inside The Coaching Staff: Zac Taylor

Posted Mar 29, 2012

Not everyone gets to keep it in the family when it comes to finding employment in the National Football League, but Zac Taylor hasn’t known anything else as a young coach.

Taylor was hired as the assistant quarterbacks coach for the Miami Dolphins last month, guaranteeing a fifth consecutive year of working with his father-in-law, offensive coordinator Mike Sherman. Taylor was Sherman’s tight ends coach as a graduate assistant for the previous four years at Texas A&M where Sherman was the head coach.

Some people might assume that being on the same coaching staff as your father-in-law would be awkward, but Taylor tells a different story.

“It works well and obviously it’s a very professional relationship,” said Taylor, who is married to Sherman’s daughter, Sarah, and father to Sherman’s grandson, Brooks. “We understand the boundaries there and it’s good because we have a lot of trust in each other. I know what he expects from me and he knows what I’m going to provide. So it’s been a great relationship for the last four years and it just so happens it worked out that we get to continue that and I’m very excited about it.”

There is no doubt the dinner table conversations have an interesting tone to them.

NFL Coaching Experience: This is Taylor’s first professional coaching job.

College Coaching Experience: Taylor was on Sherman’s coaching staff at Texas A&M from 2008-11 as an offensive graduate assistant/tight ends coach.

Playing Career Summary: Taylor was the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year in 2006 as the quarterback at Nebraska. He completed 233-of-391 passes for 3,197 yards, 26 touchdowns and just eight interceptions in leading the Cornhuskers to a 9-3 record and an appearance in the Big 12 Championship game. As a junior in 2005 he completed 237-of-340 passes for 2,653 yards, 19 touchdowns and 12 interceptions and in 2003 as a freshman at Wake Forest in 2003 he was 1-of-1 for three yards. He had to sit out his sophomore year in 2004 after transferring to Nebraska as part of NCAA rules. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed him as an undrafted free agent on April 29th, 2007 but he was waived just before the start of training camp. Taylor signed with the Canadian Football League’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the fall of 2007 as their fourth quarterback. The Blue Bombers won the Grey Cup that year.

Did You Know?: “I went to four colleges and that’s kind of my claim to fame, counting graduate school at Texas A&M. I went to Wake Forest, then to junior college and ended up at Nebraska before going to grad school when I worked at A&M. Not many people can say they went to four different colleges so I’m proud of that.”

Dolphins Connections: There is just that glaring one with Sherman being his father-in-law.

Off The Field: “There’s an Everglades Tour I’m excited about but I’ve got a 1-year-old son so I like to spend a lot of time with my son. That’s all my free time and I’m sure people can understand that. I like to hang out with my son, Brooks.”

Taylor On His Coaching Philosophy: “You want a guy that plays with a lot of confidence and plays fast and sometimes that comes with experience. We need a guy that just understands how to read defenses and gets the ball out quick. You don’t necessarily have to have the strongest arm in the world. You just have to be able to understand the offense that we’re going to put in front of you, make good decisions, take care of the ball and get our playmakers the ball. That’s every offense but we’ve got some good players on this team and I’m excited to work with whoever ends up being our quarterback.”

Taylor On Joining The Dolphins: “It’s so exciting. When I first heard I was going to come down here and interview and get the opportunity I figured there are a lot of great NFL teams but this is one that really does have a lot of tradition. I can think back to when I was a little kid watching the Dolphins and Dan Marino play so it’s exciting to be a part of this organization. This staff is unbelievable and it’s a great balance of youth and experience. The guys have a lot of different experiences and they ran different offenses so it’s been good to hear explanations on different things and we’ll try to balance that as time goes on.”