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Jason Taylor retiring: My favorite memory and the HOF

I have reported in Wednesday's Miami Herald that Jason Taylor is retiring following Sunday's regular-season finale against the New York Jets.

Read my column on this breaking news here on The Herald website. The column gives all the necessary details you need.

This blog?

I want to share my favorite memory of Jason Taylor.

Believe it or not, it came in the forgettable 2006 season when Nick Saban's team was underperforming and disappointing former players as well as fans. The seemingly overmatched Dolphins were winners of only one game in their first seven and the Bears were undefeated at 7-0 when the two teams were scheduled to meet at Soldier Field, where the Bears had outscored their opponents 152-30 in their previous four games.

No one gave the Dolphins much of a chance.

And Taylor was angry as I've ever seen him in his 15-year career. He was angry nobody gave the Dolphins a chance. He was angry the media wasn't respecting the team. He was angry former Dolphins guard Bob Kuechenberg had told the Chicago Tribune the Dolphins had "no soul" and a victory over Chicago was "not even remotely possible."

That week, Taylor said Kuechenberg needed "a hug and a hobby." And as for the Bears, he refused to say they were better than Miami while acerbically calling them the "Almighty Bears."

I frankly dismissed it as pregame bravado that wouldn't amount to much. Taylor made it amount. Plenty.

Taylor had a strip-sack that notched a turnover and intercepted a Rex Grossman pass that he returned 20 yards for a touchdown. The Dolphins won 31-13. And in the locker room afterward, Taylor didn't play the smug I-told-you-so athlete. He simply explained how he and his teammates felt.

"We were 1-6 and had faced a lot of criticism," he said. "I don't mind if you criticize us. That's fine. But the disrespect is what bothers me. When someone questions your heart and all that, that gets my attention. It got all our attention."

It gets my attention, as we look back on Taylor's career, that some Dolphins fans still believe he was disloyal to the team because he was traded away in 2008 and signed with the Jets in 2010. For the record, he did wish to be traded in 2008 but soon found out that was a mistake. So he returned in 2009, hoping to finish his career in Miami but after that season was told nothing about playing in Miami in 2010. So that forced his hand to sign with New York.

As far as loyatly is concerned, he was always loyal to his coaches publicly and privately. He defended Dave Wannstedt, Jim Bates, Nick Saban and Tony Sparano staunchly. No, he wasn't too fond of Cam Cameron. No he never defended Cameron publicly or privately. Um, I understand why.

The more important question is did Taylor do enough to get into the Pro Football Hall of Fame?

Assuming he doesn't collect more sacks in his final game, he finishes ranked fifth on the all-time sack list. That alone makes him a HOF candidate. He probably has to wait for guys such as Chris Doleman and Michael Strahan to get in before he does. That's probably fine with Taylor.

He's got five years before he's eligible for consideration anyway.

By the way, the Dolphins have retired Dan Marino, Larry Csonka and Bob Griese's numbers. Should 99 be retired?

Discuss ... And give JT a warm sendoff, people.

[RADIO NOTE: It'll be JT all the time on my radio show, Armando and the Amigo, this morning. We'll talk about his legacy, his time with and away from the Dolphins, and where he stands in Dolphins history. We'll take your phone calls toll-free from anywhere in the United States at 1-888-640-9385. And you may watch the show stream live video right here at The Miami Herald website from start to finish, 6-10 a.m., if you wish.]

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Jason Taylor, you'll be missed, along with Z Thomas, Surtain, and the rest of the 90s Dolphins

Thanks Jason.

Yes, HOF, #?
Was he as good as Bill Stanfill, maybe our best DE?
If the consensus is YES, then his # should be retired.

#99 should be retired, what JT has brought to Miami will be hard to replace. A class act 100%.
One of my Favorite memories, during a home game, agianst Dallas. Taylor ripped down a sign some cowboy fans had hanging in the endzone, "NOT IN MY HOUSE"!!. The passion he had for this team is rarely seen, Good Luck JT. you will be missed.

JT you always played with full effort and your heart was never, ever in question to Dolfans everywhere. If you are retiring, it'll be a bittersweet day for this fan. The Dolphins #99 jersey will never be the same without the name Taylor on it. I for one want the jersey retired, JT you've earned at least that small level of respect from the Dolphins organisation and fan base. May God bless you and your family in your future outside the NFL.

How can anyone else wear a #13 or #39 Dolphins jersey and not be overshadowed by the greatness of Marino and Zonk? How can anyone else wear #99 and not be overshadowed by perhaps the greatest ever Dolphins defensive player?

Hell yeah, they should retire his number!

99 should and will be retired, and if Taylor does not make the HOF, it will be a travesty! Doesn't he also hold the NFL record for defensive TD's?

I will remember JT for all of the blown games he and Zack Thomas helped give up.....

I will remember them both for never being able to get off the feild in the 4 th quarter of games.....

I will remember with fondness the 1st time mr. Dancing with the stars turned on this team to go chase a ring with the Redskins....and the FINS enjoyed their BEST season of th new millennium with this turn coat not on the team.....

I remember Benidict Arnold when he signed with the jets.....Nuff said on that....

Yes.....JT had some magical moments with the FINS..... He was a game changer @ times....Especially against the pats as they began their rise to dominace.....

Unfortunately Armando.....your fondest memory of JT is indicative of his whole career here....and the FINS as an organization over the past 20 years.....

They are always 1 and something....and they are always hanging their hats on some meaningless win.....

Yes, he should hit the hall a fame and have his jersey retired here......BUT he needs to STAY RETIRED!!!!

retiring his number is the LEAST this organization could do..another Dolphin great who's career was wasted on crap teams...we,ll miss you JT

Kris, your are the most negative person on this entire blog. you downgrade everything and everyone with one big puff of BS. Maybe you should find some other blog.

Always a class act, JT.

Sorry Europe.....

I got this thing.....it's called a brain....and have my OWN INDIVIDUAL thoughts....you see....here in America.....that's not illegal.....not yet anyway.....

What's funny is that I didn't attack how anyone else feels...I just stated how i feel....

Now the NAZI from Europe wants to tell me how I should feel....

I don't have to be sad because you are.....I can interpret my OWN feelings.....you should try it....it's very liberating.....

OF CORSE MANDO WANTS TAYLER TO GO TO HOF,THAT WAY EVERY SAT>NIGHT EWHEN HE COME OVER FOR DINER MANDO CAN SAY "I HAD A HOFER OVER SAT.NIGHT
(BUFFET OF BRAGGING)

Nazi from Europe, huh..funny..Born and raised in Florida, ex US military, and Im a Nazi..lmao very funny..but my remarks are regarding the fins, and your repeated negativity towards them. rarely do you mention anything good..period..If I were so disgusted and nothing positive to find with something, regardless of wht it is. I remove it from my life. it seems you never look at any of the positives.I suppose Marino falls under your Benedict Arnold scenario, he also wanted to be traded, once upon a time..

FINEUROPE, PAY NO ATTENTION TO KRIS, HE PART OF GANG OF DEFEAT.
(BUFFET OF KNOWLEDGE)

I love JT.
But I am no fan of retiring a jersey unless the player was vital in winning a SB.

Thore, can understand your feelings on that. There are probably others who feel the same. But his body of work with the Fins, records etc. speaks volumes. Cant realy blame him for not winning a SB. Marino never won one either, does that mean he should not be in the Hall or on the ring?

"The reason Taylor is retiring is not fully known, but he is 37 and would be 38 when the 2012 season begins."

Not to mention a world record for enduring regime changes on a perennially bad team about to change regimes again, his effectiveness eroding daily, and at least 31 other teams that don't want him, this is really breaking news surprise.

#99 Jason Taylor:

He has ALWAYS been a very passionate player that wore emotions on his sleeve. He loathed losing as much as anyone in the NFL from what I could tell.

By any count, his numbers, records and the constant game planning opposing teams had to do when he was at his best says he should get into the H.o.F someday.

I liked it best when he and Zack could feed off each other as they played alongside one another.

Objectivity is always up to the individual but to me he has ALWAYS represented the Fins well. He has been on a lot of bad teams and yet still seemed like more of the answer and an example for younger players.

If it is your last game JT... Thanks for all the memories of your 100% effort, game changing plays and bleeding aqua and orange when you were here.

Cheers,

LEGACY,MY FOOT.......... HE PLAYED IN THE LAST 11 YEARS,THE WORST YEARS IN FINS HISTORY,HE WAS THE LEADER IN THE 1-15 TEAM ........TO BE HONOST ,HE GOT MORE WAY MORE THAN HE GAVE ,,,,,,,,,

jason taylor should be mentioned when the great DE are talked about.
my opinion comes from yrs of observation.
jason great momments came at the right times.
end of games to stop winning drives.
he played on teams that weren't sb bound teams,but he always played like they where.
how many yrs has jason taylor given to miami?
how many people over the years have put in as much time to miami as TJ?
thanx jason for the yrs of being a dolphin,you and zack helped the time you where here exciting and watchable.

Best Dolphin DE ever IMO retire #99

Ireland demanded respect; JT actually EARNED the respect of teammates and the opposing teams. he was a true pro in every sense who had to endure guys like ireland and parcells who didnt respect dolphin traditions. JT always came up big in the big games. he will always be a dolphin. i'd even like him to remain for 1 more year to mentor the younger guys like odrick and cam wake.

jt is the best defensive player we ever had and so was Zack for that matter. Mr Ross, retire his #99. It would be a slap in the face to see another player wearing it. Class act. Passionate. Played every down even if he was on the sideline. Good luck Jason to you and your family. Thanks for some of the best DE/LB play ever played!

One of my favorite players of all time!!!! He and Zach Thomas need their numbers retired. ASAP.

Living in Cleveland, I had a chance to follow Taylor at Univ of Akron. Similarly, I was in High School In Steubenville, Ohio when Marino excelled (mostly) in college...I even met him in the parking lot as his hs alma mater Central Catholic played my Catholic Central.

As a Dolphin fan since I was like 7 (1973?) I have enjoyed watching almost 20 years. I find it interesting that everyone today is upset over Miami's failures...but let's be honest...The Dolphins haven't been great since a bunch of players including Zonk jumped to the World Football League.

Marino was a blast to watch. But how many Superbowls did he go to, let alone win. Taylor, like Marino, has been a wonder - both he and Zach - but how many Superbowls did they go to?

Taylor, given his multitude of stats including scoring, safeties, etc., deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. But more importantly - he was always fun to watch. Too bad that isn't a criteria.

I was hoping he would stick around long enough to pass Strahan. Can't wait to see what he does next, just as I have respected Marino for his post-football activities - even his weight loss commercials.

And after how he was treated by Parcells, they had better retire his number.

WHY BLOGGERS ALWAYS ,WHEN THEY TALK JT ,THEY ALWAYS BRING ZACK WITH HIM AS IF THEY WANT JUSTFY JT BEING VERY GOOD PLAYER ....


Great post! Thank you for sharing! I will send to my friends this article!

aloco, its because JT and Zach have class; its something the current regime is totally lacking.

No question, number 99 should be retired. Good luck Jason you have been a great Dolphin in a time when we have not always had a lot to cheer about!

Good morning guys,

Ahh Jason Taylor, has generated mixed feelings for me over the years. I understand he wanted a championship but to go to the freaking Jets of all teams was the ultimate no no!! There had to be other opportunities out there, right?

All in all Jason Taylor has always been a professional and is an ALL-TIME Dolphins great! He should be considered for the HOF. He has had quite a few dominant years as well as very good ones to say the least. He and Zach Thomas were the face of the franchise for many years after Marino retired and his leadership qualities are second to none.

Thank you for being a professional and great Dolphin!

I would love for JT, in his last game sack the Sanchise at least 4x, that would be GREAT!

After jason taylor's rookie year I name my son after him. Yes retire his number He is a hall of famer

First of all:

With the #12(Griese) and #13(Marino) retired, were we actually destined not to get Andrew Luck? His number is #12.

Second of all:

There are hof former Dolphins who's number are not retired. Even a couple with sb rings(#42 Warfield, #66 Larry Little). Seems Dolphins dont retire the #'s of it's "black" superstars.

Third of all:

With Larry Little and Paul Warfield's numbers not retired, why should Jason Taylor be the 1st "black" Dolphins players to have his number retired before either of them?

Jason Taylor is borderline hof material at best and may end up in the "Bob Kuechenberg" no man's land of hof attempts. The question isnt should Taylor's number be retired. Its should be does Larry Little and Paul Warfield deserve to have thier numbers retired before him, being more deserved to become the first "black" Dolphins players to recieve that honor.

This is gonna sound weird but.....

Excellent post by yg....and yg presents another perspective @ which to look at this......

Jake Scott may have been the most fortunate sb era fin player of all in having his #13 retired. It happened in the form of a famous kid called Dan Marino(#13)! LOL

wht do you put quotation marks around the word black?? paul warfield is my favorite receiver ever but he didnt begin or end his career as a dolphin and quit the team to join the wfl. if we retired 66 then we would really have to retire like 10 other numbers too from those teams. face it - marino and griese are superstar quarterbacks and just happen to be "white" ....

kris,

Just Im sure Larry Little and Paul Warfield could take it as a "slap in the face" for Jason Taylor to become the 1st black Dolphin player to have his number retired. Especially when he could become the next "Bob Kuechenberg" close but not the cake hof nominee.

Both Little and Warfield are 1st ballot hof'ers, at least Im sure Little is, and ring of honor awardees. Which Taylor is also sure to recieve. So Little and Warfield are hof'ers which Taylor may never be, and have 2 sb championship rings which Taylor will never have.

Not sure why you bring race into it Yesterday. That was strange.

The reason why JT will get in over the others is largely due to the media age we now live in. He is far more well known nationally than any of those other players. Between football, charity work, Dancing with the Stars, recognizable face and the amount of TV time he will get in the next few years, he'll get in. Basically, JT achieved a bigger celebrity status, and that will influence votes.

YG.....

When you put it like that.....I have no choice but to agree.....you can't argue against facts.....

scott alderson,

It just so happens this organization doesnt have a black player who has his number retired period. At least Larry Little is more deserved than Taylor. The accolades speak for themselves.

Taylor is consensus as "one" of the best DE/LB of his era. Little is consensus one of the greatest pulling guards of "all time".

So many black players from many teams are HOF'rs, so I don't see where that comes into play. It's not like it's the Miami Dolphins that vote the players in.

Ok, misread your point, you were talking about numbers being retired. I think they will. Ross needs the glitter.

Scott A,

I agree. Warfield didn't start or finish his career in Miami. He played 5 seasons in Miami. That is hardly an All-time type player. Sure he was great but 5 years is not jersey retiring worthy.

Larry Little on the other hand I think should have had his number retired! He was a key force behind the Dolphins bruising running attack.

Jason Taylor I don't think should have his number retired. He went to the enemy in hopes of chasing a ring and FAILED! I want the jets to lose every game they play but even more so last season. I didn't want Taylor to go there and get a ring.

DA.....

In the context in which YG uses race (past behavior being the greatest predictor of future events)......it is very relevant and easily fits into the confines of this conversation.....should his # be retired.....armando posed the question.....

YG merely gave some historical evidence that says....it's not likely to happen....

taylor is borderlne on both. i hope he makes it though. jt is the man. go fins! hire the right coach and draft luck!

DA.....

I see you already saw it.....my bad.....can't type as fast on this iPad.....still love it tho...

Makes more sense to me now Kris. I stick with my original argument though, Taylor achieved enough of celebrity status to get his # retired. Plus Ross needs to do something to show the fans he is a fan too.

DA,

Its all about race. Especially considering, at least by far in Little's case. Its not about JT doesnt deserve it, Little just may deserve it a little more.

It's about race because if JT gets his number retired before Little, this franchise could end up with big time egg in ir's face. Dont you think at some point a reporter will shove a mic in Little's face and ask him about it?

Dont you think the Dolphins also have black sb era fans and they remember Little? It'll be even more uproar because Little also happen to be born and raised in the city of Miami. Dont guess you're from Miami are you?

Yesterday

In case you've been sleeping for the last 10 years, this franchise has egg all over its body, a little more in its face nobody will notice.

DA,

The most efficient way I see to have Taylor's #99 retired, is to have Little's #66 retired the same day. This way the franchise turns the pig into a celebratorial feast.

JASON TAYLOR IS A HALL OF FAME PERIOD,him and the rest of that defense zack thomas,jason taylor,patrick surtain,sam madison,brock marion and company was the best.people dont be be a jerk zack and jason were disrecpect when parcells and company arrive in MIAMI so dont talk b.u.l.l.s.h.i.t.

Jason will always be remember as a heart and soul of the MIAMI DOLPHINS.

That little stint with archenemy NYJ certainly takes the shine off of the number retirement discussion.
For one year he was an enemy of the Dolphins and tried twice to wreck us.
I say no to retiring that number .
He will make the HOF - longevity and # of sacks gets him in.

One of my alltime favorite Dolphins, not just for his play and leadership on the field but all he did off the field. If the Dolphins were not such a mess and if Parcells had a clue, then Taylor would have played all his games with Miami. He will be in the Hall of Fame in five to seven years. The Dolphins will retire his number soon after that for all he did for the franchise on and off the field. Both Taylor and Zach Thomas never got the championship they deserved.

Forget race, look at the stats. Does he deserve to have his number retired and be in the hall of fame for being 5th all time in sacks?

jt = jet.

Retiring #99(Taylor) and #66(Little) on the same day would wotk!

As a long time dolfan, I myself would have mixed feelings about Taylor's number being retired and not Little's.

Ross could use this as an opportunity to boost his image and hype the team, by taking a look back and retiring more than one jersey. But my guess is he won't. This is the kind of a guy who doesn't even inform his interim HC that he is now the interim HC.

LoL @ Tim in Tampa.....that was funny....

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