Taylor’s response to Brennan challenge
ASH Taylor has accepted Garth Brennan's challenge to "own" the Titans team and believes he can take advantage of his coach's freestyling game plan to lift his level even higher.
The classy halfback in October signed a rich three-year contract extension on the back of a season in which he led the competition for try assists in a side that placed 15th.
Brennan though called on Taylor to "walk the walk" and reflect his skyrocketing salary after the team's scratchy attacking performance in their final pre-season trial against the Warriors on Saturday.
The 22-year-old has already set about responding to that task.
"He has grabbed it with both hands," Brennan said ahead of Gold Coast's season launch at The Star last night.
"Me and Ash have known each other for a long time so I think we have got the relationship where I can be blunt and upfront with him at times.
"He knows he is only a young guy with a lot to learn. He knows he is far from the finished product."
Further to that, Taylor insists the entertaining style of footy Brennan is encouraging can help him reach a whole new level in a promising sign for his aspirations to step into the Maroons halves jerseys vacated by Johnathan Thurston and Cooper Cronk.
Such freedom was seen against the Warriors, where Taylor roved across the field rather than being restricted to the right side and five-eighth Kane Elgey to the left.
"It's a different structure and just giving us some leeway to play some footy," Taylor told the Bulletin.
"That's what our Titans fans want, is for us to play footy and entertain and that's what we're going to do this year.
"Just like anything, if you have got a new coach and new structure it is going to take a while to settle in.
"But in saying that you have to win footy games - and early - to make sure that we are in that top eight at the end so we have just got to adapt to the new culture, new game plan and new structure and win games.
"That's what it comes down to."
Another factor that could play into Taylor's hands is that sharpshooter fullback Michael Gordon will relieve him of the high-pressure goalkicking role.
"I'm getting more of an opportunity to worry about my game and getting the team around," Taylor said.
The Titans will open their season against Canberra at Cbus Super Stadium on March 11.