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Fred Taylor, Good Guy, Surprised To Still Be Playing

When Fred Taylor went down last year with an injured ankle, it was a blow to the Patriots, but also an eye opener for the 34-year-old running back who faced a difficult rehab-one that has inspired Taylor to try to help those facing similar circumstances. To that end, Taylor is starting a foundation to help physically challenged children:

Taylor said he got the idea for his foundation one day last fall when he struggled to get to the bathroom not long after undergoing surgery for his ankle injury. It left him to ask: "What if life was this difficult all the time?"

Taylor is able to do this thanks to a long, successful NFL career. Surprisingly, though, Taylor says this was not all according to plan:

I remember back in Year 1 with coach Coughlin, my mind set was 'Two more years and I'm outta here.' Every time I tell somebody I'm going on my 13th season, it shocks me just to say it.

It's a good thing Taylor didn't quit after three years. Since then, Taylor has accumulated over 8,000 rushing yards and 34 touchdowns, leaving him among the all-time greats. Hopefully, Taylor will be able to build on those numbers with a longer, healthier season with the Patriots.