Taylor identifies Tigers weakness
New Wests Tigers coach Jason Taylor says he's prepared to begin his Tigerland overhaul right where it hurts the most – in the casualty room.
The Western Suburbs icon officially kicked off the club's pre-season with a team meeting at Concord on Wednesday, where he laid down a very Roosters-like blueprint in front of his new squad.
"We as a coaching staff at the Roosters worked hard on everything that we did. And we all had input into how the team played and how we conducted ourselves on and off the field," he said in his first press conference.
"Any coach moves on and that stuff is there for you to use if you want to. There'll be some things that the Roosters will be doing next season that I was really influential in getting going at that club.
"And there'll definitely be things that we'll be doing here that I've taken from what I've learnt from the guys there. I think that's part of it and it goes without saying."
Another, more significant part of design for the post-Mick Potter era included a complete overhaul of the football department. Last week the club announced the addition of assistant coaches Matt Cameron and Rod Reddy to join existing mentor David Kidwell.
Cameron played a significant role in Penrith's recent renaissance into premiership relevance, while Reddy's last major gig was as head coach of the now defunct Adelaide Rams in 1998.
"Rocket's a great details coach and he'll work hard in overseeing everything we do with the NRL team," Taylor said.
"But he'll also spend a lot of time working with the guys that are in the full-time squad but go back and play in the under-20s competition or NSW Cup. Those guys can get a little bit lost.
"He'll spend a lot of time with them making sure that they're working hard on their game and being up-skilled to get them to the point where they become first-graders."
However one of the most pressing issues for Taylor upon his arrival as head coach was the club's worrying injury toll in recent seasons.
Last season the club used 32 players – second only to the ASADA-shaken Cronulla Sharks – with first-grade regulars James Tedesco, Braith Anasta, Liam Fulton, Dene Halatau, David Nofoaluma, Tim Simona, and Curtis Sironen limited to 15 games or less.
The previous year, the Tigers were stretched to a squad on 34.
And again on day one of the 2015 pre-season, a number of players remained in cotton wool after undergoing off-season surgery. Four new staff were added to the existing crew that included the retention of former player and now video analyst Simon Dwyer.
"Yeah, that's an issue for us," Taylor said of their horrific injury toll of recent seasons. "I don't want to make too much of it because it can be something that's hard to control. But we will be focusing hard on trying to improve the results in that area."
Taylor, who has held previous posts at Parramatta and then South Sydney, continued to express his gratitude to the Roosters for helping him earn a third shot at NRL glory.
"Like anything in life, you get knocked down, you’ve got to get back up and get on with it and that's what I've done and I'm happy to be here today," the 43-year-old said.
"I said a couple of times and I'll stop saying it because he's probably sick of hearing it but the time I spent with Trent Robinson over the past couple of years has been invaluable.
"I'm really indebted to him to have worked with him as I have. But not just in that regard, a lot of learning over the last few years and the opportunity that the Roosters gave me to get back on the horse and get it going again, I'm really appreciative of."