If there’s one thing you’ll learn from chatting about football with Taylor Decker, it’s that he’ll do just about anything to make his team a winner. We’ve already seen his incredible work ethic in the offseason pay off on the field, but Decker doesn’t want his contributions to end there.
In his end-of-season Zoom conference with the media, Decker said he plans on trying to help the Lions organization off the field, as well. Starting with conversations with team president and CEO Rod Wood.
“I’m not going to overstep, but I’m going to go and have conversations—probably here in an hour or two—I’m going to see if Rod is available,” Decker said on Monday. “I’m going to talk to Rod and just give my opinion, because I am invested in this team, and there are people that, if it were up to me, I’d want to keep. That’s not my decision to make, but over the past five years, I feel like I’ve put a lot into this organization, given what I can. So if I can just put a word in for a player or a coach, I’ll do it.”
Though Decker wouldn’t give specifics on what he’d be bringing to Wood’s attention, he does think they could use a player’s perspective on how some of the things that went right and some of the things that went wrong in meetings, coach interaction and other things only players may be privy to.
“It could be really easy to say, ‘Oh, we just go in and blow up everything,’ but I think there are some pieces that are working well and could continue to work well,” Decker said.
There was one player he admitted he’s going to vouch for, and that’s quarterback Matthew Stafford, a player Decker admitted was the most-respected teammate he’s ever played with. When asked if he’d lobby to keep Stafford around, Decker didn’t mince words.
“Of course. That’s a short, simple answer.”
Part of the reason Decker feels the need to do this is due to his personal commitment to the team. He’s made Detroit the home to his family. He signed a four-year, $60 million extension prior to the 2020 season. He’s pot committed and he’s going to do everything in his power to make that long-term decision a wise one.
“I want to be here my whole career, and I want to be a winner, and I want this team and this city to win,” Decker said.
He’s done plenty of help on the field. The left tackle said he believed he was one of the best tackles in football in 2020, and some advanced statistics are in his favor. His PFF grade of 82.0 ranks 12th among all NFL tackles (left and right) and his pass blocking grade is tied for fifth-best. But giving his all on the field isn’t enough for Taylor Decker.
“I just want to give my perspective to see if that can help, because I want to help this team. I help this team on the field, but if I can do it off (the field), I would love to.”