Sitting right now on the desk of Sherwood Taylor, the father of Eagles quarterbacks coach Press Taylor and Los Angeles Rams quarterbacks coach Zac Taylor, is a trophy. It remains there until his two sons face off and it can be awarded to a winner.
This Sunday, when the Eagles take on the Rams and Press takes on Zac that trophy, and a lot more, will be on the line.
It will be the third time the two have faced each other in the NFL. And although they aren’t playing in the game themselves and the players they work closely with won’t even share the field at the same time, it feels like a head-to-head matchup.
“We've coached against each other twice so far,” Press said. “He was at the Dolphins when they came up here and beat us and obviously, we got one last year, so this is kind of our rubber match right here.”
Zac was with the Dolphins from 2013-15 as the quarterbacks coach and briefly the team’s interim offensive coordinator. After a college stint at Cincinnati, he became the assistant wide receivers coach last year for the Rams and the quarterbacks coach this year.
Press was also promoted to quarterbacks coach in 2018. From 2013-15, he worked in offensive quality control and from 2016-17, he was also the assistant quarterbacks coach.
Zac works with a young star in quarterback Jared Goff who ranks fourth in the league in passing this season with the 11-2 Rams. Press gets to work with another young stud in Carson Wentz, who was an MVP candidate in 2017, as well as a Super Bowl MVP in Nick Foles.
Oh, and Press has a ring that came two months after a 43-35 Eagles win over the Rams last season.
The competition is real. But the two young coaches, Press, 30, and Zac, 35, understand how incredible their positions are.
“We realize how fortunate we are to work with the guys we get to work within the systems we work in so I'm very excited for my brother and all the success he's had with the Rams,” Press said. “I hope they continue to have success. Other than when we play them, obviously.”
With Goff being the top pick in the 2016 NFL Draft and Wentz being second, there is always a natural rivalry in the national media between the two. But while NFL fans debate who is better, Press said that conversation does not extend to his interactions with his brother.
“They're always going to be compared forever obviously being one and two," Press said. "They’re in different systems, they have different styles of play. So, people will always want to compare them, but I think ultimately it's just great to see two young quarterbacks playing well and continuing to grow every year in the games."
Press can’t typically watch Rams games live with his own schedule. But he can look at tape throughout the week across the league and see his brother’s work if the Rams play against a future Eagles opponent.
Through distance and two very busy schedules, the brothers still try to talk regularly.
“It's pretty tough now,” Press said. “There's a three-hour time difference. So, with our schedules, when I'm driving in early in the morning, he's asleep. When I'm going home at night, they're in the middle of their meetings. So, it's more text messages throughout the week and maybe Friday night we'll get a chance to catch up over the phone if my wife will let me.”
A lot will be on the line on Sunday at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The Eagles are fighting for a playoff spot in the final three weeks while the Rams are looking to get home-field advantage in the NFC.
That’s where Press and Zac’s focus will be. But when the season ends, that trophy will be important too. Press said there will be family present for Taylor Brothers Bowl III and picking a side won’t be an option.
“They're staying at my sister-in-law's so when they're home, they have to be for the Rams,” Press said. “But in the stands, they're very neutral. They're rooting for the offense. That’s the best way to go about it, I think.”