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NFL Draft 2011: Browns first-round pick Phil Taylor quickly learns importance of football in Cleveland

By Nate Ulrich Published: April 29, 2011

Defensive tackle Phil Taylor met with reporters today, less than 24 hours after the Browns picked him 21st overall in the 2011 NFL Draft. Taylor said he hasn't received a playbook yet, but he has learned plenty about Cleveland's hardcore football culture.

"I know how much Cleveland fans hate Pittsburgh," Taylor said. "I look forward to the matchup. (Ben Roethlisberger is) a great quarterback, but when I'm gonna play against him, he's gonna go down."

Taylor said he doesn't know much about Browns defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin, though he's encouraged by what he has heard.

"The fans, they say we'll be a good tandem in the middle," Taylor said.

Taylor said he has learned a lot about life after he was dismissed from Penn State's football team because of his involvement in an on-campus fight. He expressed his gratitude for a second chance at Baylor.

"It was just a learning experience," he said. "Everybody makes mistakes. I was young and I just moved on from it. I'm just glad I'm blessed to be in this situation right now.

"It wasn't that I was going down the wrong road. I just made a mistake as a young guy there, and I learned from it. You can better from learning from things you do in the past. So I learned from it, and I just moved on. And it made me better today."

The 6-foot-3 Taylor also said he has lost 50 pounds since he arrived at Baylor, and he has had to become disciplined to keep his playing weight between 330-335 pounds. Taylor also reiterated that his feet are fine, despite CBS Sports recently reporting that he had bones growing together in them.

"I know the true story behind things," Taylor said. "The foot thing is just rumors."

Although Taylor was often projected as a 3-4 nose tackle during the predraft process, he played in a four-man front at Baylor. Taylor said he's versatile enough to play one-technique and three-technique in the Browns' 4-3 scheme. That's exactly what the Browns want from their defensive tackles.


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