SANTA CLARA – Super Bowl XXIII hero John Taylor likes what he’s seeing from the 49ers’ modern-day wide receivers, most notably Deebo Samuel and Brandon Auyuk.
Taylor praised the pair while speaking pregame from the field on Sunday in his new red blazer, Taylor’s Saturday Night 49ers’ Edward J. In commemoration of the induction into the Debartolo Hall of Fame.
On Samuel, Taylor said: “He’s incredible, man. He’s an incredible wide receiver slash running back, you know what I mean? He has such a great pace, and if he ever gets a corner, you know what’s going to happen. We’ve seen it in a couple of weeks.”
Samuel is the 49ers’ first 1,000-yard wide receiver (1,028 yards) since 2014, and while he has five touchdown catches, he also has six rushing touchdowns.
Taylor loved watching ESPN highlights Sunday night and watching Ayuk’s game-winning touchdown catch-and-run, as it was compared to Taylor’s Super Bowl-winning catch for the 1988 team. It limited a 92-yard drive with 34 seconds remaining in a 20-16 win over Bengal.
“Look at Brandon Ayuk,” said Taylor. “The funny thing about it was that they showed the Super Bowl game right before they showed that clip, because it was a last-drive type of deal.”
Taylor won three Super Bowls with the 49ers from 1987–95. He was inducted into the franchise’s Hall of Fame along with linebacker Patrick Willis, who also participated in Sunday’s game and was to be honored at halftime.
“It was great,” Taylor said of Saturday night’s private ceremony, to which outside media were not invited. “It was an event I never anticipated coming here before and being prepared by the Niners to finish where I did and where I did.”
Taylor was a third-round draft pick out from Delaware State.
Taylor said of Willis: “I used to watch Patrick play and sit there and think, ‘This damn guy goes from side to side.’ The good thing for me was that he should never have played, that he was too young.