Jason Taylor was drafted out of Akron in the 3rd round with fellow longtime teammate and brother-in-law Zach Thomas out of Texas Tech. Taylor and Thomas began the rebuilding efforts by Jimmy Johnson as he tried to put his stamp on the team.
Jason Taylor is a 6 time pro-bowler with a 3 time all pro 1st team selection on defense. Taylor has endured the Jimmy Johnson era, three years of mediocre performances, the Wannstedt era (a time of boring football), and the Saban and Cam Cameron seasons with no playoff appearances.
So when the Dolphins had just finished the 2007 season at 1-15, brought in another new era with Bill Parcells, Tony Sparano, and Jeff Ireland; Taylor who had seen enough truly wanted to mull over his future given his knack for entrepreneurship and marketing himself.
Taylor spent much of the Spring and Summer of 2008 working not with his teammates in the harsh and humid heat of Davie, but instead in an air conditioned dance studio in Los Angeles. The new regime did not approve and thus shipped him for a 2nd round pick to Washington where Taylor worked for a rookie coach anyway and had an insufferable season.
Taylor then returned to Miami only to be denied after a subpar 7-9 season for the Dolphins. Same regime. Same people in charge.
This year, with Parcells gone, but Tony Sparano given more control on personnel he brought in Taylor to provide in lockerroom leadership.
Taylor has recorded 7 sacks this year when the outside linebacker position sorely needed a boost to bring about the threat of a pass rush. He will be missed if the Dolphins cannot find those sacks elsewhere in the draft. I am not saying this, but Armando Salguero pointed this out in depth in his blog as of yesterday.
Jason Taylor based on numbers is an all-pro. Based on leadership is a true professional.
However, as much as I truly appreciated Taylor’s hardwork on and off the field, I can’t say that he made the difference when it counted. I know there was a win here or there where he had an interception return for a touchdown or a sack to end a game.
But, where was Taylor when it counted? Jets-Dolphins Monday Night Football dubbed the “Miracle”. Where was Taylor? Barking at Jets fans and not making plays on the field? Why didn’t he sack the heck out of Testaverde. Stop the run. Stall the Jets drive that decided the game?
Where was Taylor when the Patriots drove the length of the field in 2002 after Ricky Williams first season and a sure playoff contender backed by the play of Fiedler and company?
Where was Taylor this year at 0-7?
It is possible that Taylor made the Dolphins worse when it counted. He played so hard that his feet were sore, his hands were mangled, his shoulder was battered and bruised that he had to check out on key plays either mentally or physically?
I am sorry, but Jason Taylor as much as we want to crown his as the ultimate team guy did not help the Dolphins win when it counted.