Friday, January 21, 2011
Jason Taylor’s Last Hooray?
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In twelve seasons as a member of the Miami Dolphins, Jason Taylor served as Jets public enemy number one. Taylor was notorious for voicing his disdain for New York, while terrorizing the Green and White on the field. Now, the man they call J.T., is a key cog in Gang Green’s defensive attack. Taylor reflected on whether he ever imagined he would be a step away from the Super Bowl, wearing a Jets uniform.
“No, of course not,” admitted Taylor. “I don't think anybody did, on the Jets side or on the Dolphins side. This is what I came here for. I'm happy to be here and I'm glad I'm here. I've enjoyed the whole journey all year, from the moment Rex (Ryan) and Mike Tannenbaum sat down in my living room and talked to me, to this point. It’s been a fantastic journey.”
Taylor has gathered his share of individual accolades, but is still chasing that all elusive Super Bowl title. J.T. understands the gravity of the Jets upcoming game and is looking to serve as the impetus to a Jets victory.
“14 years to get to where we are today is a long time,” said Taylor. “I've seen a lot of
highs, seen a lot of lows and had a lot of individual success, but didn't get a chance to taste that team success. This is the ultimate team game. That's what you want. All of the other things are great and the Pro Bowls are fine, but if you're not winning as a team and getting a chance to be a champion it's not worth it.”
Taylor, a Pittsburgh native, is eager to return to home, as it stirs childhood memories. Much like his head coach, J.T. has the utmost respect for the city’s tradition and success of the Pittsburgh Steelers franchise.
“It’s pretty cool. I was born and raised a Pittsburgh Steelers fan and really idolized that team and those players, heck, until I got drafted in '97,” noted Taylor. When you grow up in a city like that, you can't help but be a Steelers fan. To go back to where it all started at a long time ago when I was 16 years old is pretty cool.”
Jason Taylor elected to sign with the Jets as coach Rex Ryan and General Manager Mike Tannenbaum convinced him he would have an opportunity to win a championship. Now, knocking on the door of a Super Bowl berth, J.T. is savoring the opportunity.
“The game is big for so many reasons,” admitted Taylor. “It's been a long journey to get to this point in my career. I never doubted it would happen, but I didn't always expect it, either. Coming here to New York, this is where I expected to be and the situation that I expected to be in. Thank God it's played out to this point, but we are not done yet.”