If you didn't know Jim Taylor at the start of the 1997 season, you most likely know his name now.
Taylor is the Packers' all-time leading rusher and a Pro Football Hall of Famer. And although he retired 30 years ago, Taylor's name resurfaced often this season as Dorsey Levens made a run at his single-season rushing record.
The record still belongs to Taylor. Levens came up 39 yards shy of Taylor's monster season of 1,474 yards in 1962. That season, Taylor averaged 5.4 yards per carry and hit the century mark in half of Green Bay's games as the Packers rolled to a 13-1 record and their eighth championship. Those 1,474 yards were just 53 yards short of the NFL record at the time, held by Cleveland's Jim Brown. His 19 touchdowns set a league record.
Taylor now lives in Baton Rouge, where he starred in his college days at LSU.
"I'm kind of retired and I get a lot of invitations to participate in a lot of charity golf tournaments all over the country," he says. "Most of them benefit children's hospitals. But I'm kind of pulling back and looking to retire."
Perhaps, but Taylor, at age 62, still trains hard, one of the reasons he was one of the toughest runners of his era. He says he still weighs 214 pounds, the same weight he carried as a bruising back.
In his nine seasons as a Packer, Taylor never had a major injury and his name dots Green Bay's all-time docket in nearly every career category, including most attempts (1,811); most yards (8,207); most 1,000-yard seasons (5) and most 100-yard games (26).
He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1976, one year after induction into the Packer Hall of Fame.
But Taylor doesn't focus on records when he thinks back to his days as a Packer. He focuses on relationships.
"The camaraderie, the closeness of the Lombardi era, that's my fondest memory," he says. "(Lombardi) got his players to play at a higher level. We kept our focus and we had great compassion for our teammates."
JIM TAYLOR'S 1962 SEASON
Game Attempts Yards TD Long Result
Minnesota 17 75 0 14 W
St. Louis 23 122 0 12 W
Chicago 17 126 3 26 W
Detroit 20 95 0 27 W
@Minnesota 17 164 0 31 W
San Francisco 17 160 2 27 W
@Baltimore 16 68 1 37 W
@Chicago 25 124 4 51 W
@Philadelphia 25 141 4 26 W
Baltimore 19 46 0 16 W
@Detroit 13 47 1 20 L
Los Angeles 16 71 2 18 W
@San Francisco 24 79 1 19 W
@Los Angeles 23 156 1 28 W
GREEN BAY PACKERS SEASON RESULTS (1958-66)
1958: 1-10-1 (6th, Western Conference)
1959: 7-5 (T-3rd, Western Conference)
1960: 8-4 (NFL Runner-Up)
1961: 11-3 (NFL Champions)
1962: 13-1 (NFL Champions)
1963: 11-2-1 (2nd, Western Conference)
1964: 8-5-1 (T-2nd, Western Conference)
1965: 10-3-1 (NFL Champions)
1966: 12-2 (NFL Champions)