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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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99 should NOT be retired... that is reserved for very special players. JT ran his mouth too much and put himself before the team.

jets suck!

go heat. takes the sting out a bit that the phins f'n bloooooooooooow!.lol

Ohio Dolfan,

I stated my hof fears about JT based on what I've repeatedly heard on espn. The hof discussion about JT has been a topic many times on espn. The consensus there seems to be he's hotly "borderline" to get in. Certainly not on a first ballot.

Also have to remember there are an awful lot of "Dolphin haters" amongst the members that vote who gets in. Kuechenberg so deserves it and he's still on the outs after, I think, 4 times trying to get in.

2watt,

The rookie Morris Coles was sensational lastnight. Ive never heard the Heat crowd chant mvp for a Heat rookie. 14 of his 20pts were in the 4th qtr.

That's superstar like performance. Not that Im proclaiming him superstar yet, it was a superstar like performance!

Thanks Kris

I would reconsider my position if JT99 were to sack Mark Sancheezy five times, force three fumbles, and score one touchdown.

Also needed would be a right-hook knock out of Sal Alosi, a spit in the face of Rex Ryan, and a double finger salute to the Jets fans.

To finish, JT99 would have to piss on all the NYJ jerseys in the merchandise shop there at the stadium.

After all that I would reconsider.

yg, i saw that in the kid in his 1st 5 minutes against dallas.s. to bad ireland can't pick 'm like riles.lol

2watt, the rook is a lot quicker than I thought. He gives the Heat an entirely different dimension. He can penetrate and he plays very good defense too.

He definitely has surprised, when the Heat got him, I was like ok they had to pick somebody. We probably will never hear of this kid again once the regular season starts. Yeah, It would be nice if Ireland could pick'em like that! LOL

It is odd, because Little is on the Dolphins Honor Roll, but his Jersey has never been retired. Its a good point. But I have little faith that the organization is going to retire either number.

A good player- not great. In the best years (with Timbo, Zach, Sam & Pat) he always got weaker as the game went on. Miami was famous for 4th quarter collapses. That was their calling card and that is when defensive linemen etiher start winning the battle and close the deal or fold. He was dominated many times by the premier tackles in the league - man, Boselli just owned him on one MNF game so bad it was embarrassing. Point is - good player - not great.
Those shortcomings are why be became a hybrid OLB/DE. Started his career as a DE , but he is not that. He is a 'tweener - meaing either - or in my opinion - neither. Sorry players like thaqt are not HOF material.

You won't hear his name like Jason's these days, but the unheralded (and yes a better player)Tim Bowens was the heart of the defense most of the years Jason had success in Miami. Opposing teams new the key to the Dolphins D in those days was Timbo. Once they doubled Tim and got to the second level and got bigger man on Zach, the tide would start turning. Loved to watch Zach, but it was a matter of time as the game went on. That was the Dolphins in those days Tim and Zach and Zach was always quick to credit the man he played behind. Jason was more on the periphery - figuratively and literally when the game was one or lost. This is no knock on any of those players - they were good. But the team was what they were - which was not much in terms of playoffs - no revisionist history here.

The mention of JT retiring put a lump in my throat and nearly tears to my eyes. Give us 1 more year JT.


Good teams don't worry about crap like retiring numbers - they have super bowl rings.
Really - who cares - a good team like the 72 Dolphins stands in history as a team.

Award ceremonies and crap like that is for lousy teams. You probably enjoy watching the pro bowl too don't you? Enough said.

JT's retirement also means Misi gets more exposed. I saw no signs of progression by Misi over his rookie season.

Add olb to the offseason shopping list. Bet on it!

I'm still waiting for the sole highlight of the 2011 season, the banner to fire Ireland flying over Sun Life stadium this Sunday.

Koa Misi is presently on injured reserve. Another potential Ireland 2nd rd bust!

Personally, I think you can make a better case for Richmond Webb having his jersey retired.

However Jason is one of the top 10 dolphins all time, no doubt.

That guy,

Tim Bowens! Wow. I thought I was the only one who remembers him sometimes. He was definitely a huge part in the success of Zach Thomas as was Darryl Gardener!

He was a HUGE part of the D both figuratively and literally! But he wasn't JT or Zach. Rarely are DTs ever mentioned in the same breath because they are occupying the blockers while the other guys get the glory. But stats are huge when it comes to these sort of things like the HOF.

Look at Casey Hampton. He has been the ROCK of the Steelers D for years. OLBs have come and gone over and over since he has been there. They get all the publicity and yet he is their best player on D not named Polamalu.

But excellent post! I miss the 4-3 defense and Tim Bowens!

I say he will make the HOF.

*longevity
*dedication
*leadership
*top 5 in sacks
*no off field issues
*known nationally

He may not make the 1st ballot, but IMO he's good as in.

Certainly one of the greatest Dolphins of the past 25 years. One of the few bright spots of the post Marino era.

According to high level Pentagon sources:

Fighter jets on high alert scramble for final Dolphins game. Its reported Al-Kaida will have small plane with toxic banner flying over stadiums.

Orders will be to shoot first, ask questions later. Seems Ross has taken care of the Jeff Ireland banner flying ordeal.

Anyone notice the Pats grabbed yet another Dolphins reject....Lousaka Polite!

Yes that battering ram who was 15 of 16 on 4th and 1.

Yes that dedicated full back who can lower his head and get those critical short yards that Thomas, Clay and even Bush have trouble getting.

I hope he gets a ring from the Pats because he deserves it....you go Lou!

i agree there, misi is garbage

Uhhh.....

Pats not gonna get another sb ring. They would never spot GB or N/O a 17pt halftime lead. It only happens in fairy tale Dolphin land.

Brady has a 2-3yr window left to get the Pats tp a another sb. But once there, Drew Brees or Aaron Rodgers will slam the prison doors shut. Sorry those two qb's will be so rude to you Mr. Polite!

NH.....I didn't know that....still don't see how Polite didn't get a roster spot....

Only way Brady gets another sb championship ring is pray Brees and Rodgers falls apart in the playoffs and Matt Ryan and the Falcons get in.

Matt Ryan cant consistently beat a top 5 qb. Thats so far been a fact.

Polite earned his spot....and should have been given his due....

My best guess is that his style of play didn't fit Dabolls high flying finness offense...so he became expendable...

But I know Tony missed him on some of those 3rd and 1's

YG...while the Pats defense has not been strong, they still manage to keep Brady in the game.

I would not rule them out of the Superbowl only because the road to the AFC Championship runs through Foxborough.

Pats probably represent the afc in this year's sb. It's been a down year for Roeslithberger and the same can be said for the Steeler defense. Neither suck, but not up to usual standards.

The Ravens dont have enough firepower with Flacco. It's not that they dont have enough weapons, Flacco's not a consistent "high octane" passing qb.

Pat's get to the sb and lose to either N/O or GB.

News is slow today re: vacant head coach openings.

Yesterday rumors were flying...today crickets.

Kris,

I agree 100 percent! I don't know how Polite didn't make the team but the Dolphins actually had Larry Johnson and Steve Slaton take carries.

It's not like Polite makes a ton of money. It just didn't make much sense he wasn't on the Dolphins.

Pats are the odds on favourite in the afc, agreed.

How hard would it have been to cheer the pats in the super bowl against an undefeated packer team. Thank you chiefs for eliminating that scenario.

I posted during the pats game when we had the 17-0 lead. Score 13 2nd half points and we win.

We score 0 second half points when you take away the meaningless garbage td near game's end. We lost 27-24.

Had we scored 13 second half points, we win 30-27. This offense can go from hot to ice age faster than a high performance mazzeratti doing 0 to 60mph!

Agreed on how bad it was cutting polite. Take one of the things this team was excellent at and get rid of it to carry a nothing like slaton. Awesome move coaching staff.

Has Slayton even seen the playing field?
I cannot recall his name ever being called, or any situation where he helped the team...anyone?

Mark in T,

I believe the Dolphins perfect championship will never be matched. Because the motivation was not to go undefeated. It was not to lose after the bitter taste of the Cowboy sb the previous year.

The goal wasnt to win every regular season game that year neither. They had 2 regular season games that could have gone either way. They just happen happened to pull those games out.

Once in the playoffs the goal was not to lose, not staying undefeated. The goal for teams after has been to go undefeated, it wasnt nopt to lose. The Dolphins recipe for a undefeated championship season wasnt trying to have one. It just worked out that way.

JT's a Hall of Famer in my book. but being a Dolphin fan, I'm slightly biased on this one. I think he'll be borderline as far as the NFL is concerned and may have to wait, as Armando said. Not sure why all the dislike for the guy but people are entitled to their opinions.

I'll remember him as a guy who battled every Sunday and didn't give up despite how bad the teams were he played on. He was a testament to the team on and off the field. Warrior and face of the franchise for many year, he's been one of the very good things for this franchise over the last twenty years.

I'll tip my hat to JT and say, thanks for representing the franchise well.

In 72-73 the Dolphins goal was to get back to and win the sb only. It was by chance they had the undefeated regular season.

Once in the playoffs, the goal was to get back to the sb and win. Those two things were the main ingredients for a unbeaten-untied championship season.

The primary goal wasnt to be perfect. It just so happened they stumbled upon a perfect plan for becoming perfect.

Even those early 70's fin admit the 73-74, 15-2 was better than the undefeated-untied 72-73 team. Now go figure.

pats will lose to pitt in afc title game

The 72-73 Dolphins proved the secret to becoming undefeated-untied champions. Is not to have it has a primary goal.

They were good and a little lucky, having "two games" they probably could have lost. They Larry Seiple fake punt also saved them against Pitssburgh in the playoffs.

Another thing that made the 72-73 season so special is, despite having no losses, the playoff fromat didnt give them homefield advantage. Now go figure that too! LOL

A 3rd round pick out of Akron.
I remember his first game. Pretty sure it was verse the Pats and the announcer kept saying how fast he was and if he ever picks one off no one was gonna catch him.
He forced one right after that comment!!
""retire #99" he is a hall of famer!!!

NH, I think slaton returned a kick. That's all I can think of off the top of my head. I'm sure there were a couple of carries in there too. Not a bad way to earn over half a million dollars.

I look at JT in the light HE casted on the Dolphins.

But before I do that let me say that he was one of the best and I loved having him on the team, at least until he deserted us.

JT deserted the Dolphins during the Parcells fiasco. He was TOLD that they were going to make a decision After the draft which could have been that they kept him in Miami. But JT with his hard selfish ego and stubbornness gave us the finger and left.

This man is a millionaire 1000 times over and he turned into a traitor and signed with the Jets.

I would have totally respected JT if he just retired a Dolphin. Going to our enemy was the icing on my cake. If JT had went to a non compete team much like Zack did, I would feel somewhat better but to sign with the Jets showed his true colors.

It wasn't about the money, it was just what all NFL players are all about which is ME, ME, ME, ME and ME. Screw the team and fans.

WHY I FEEL YG/ELIPER BREED GOING AFTER HIS 18 HOUR RECORD FOR POSTING AND FLIP FLOPS ABOUT 20 TIME TODDAY.
(BUFFET OF KNOWLEDGE)

Europe.....

You see as the morning comes...and poster's post.....there are a few differing opinions about JT....

Most of them positive....

Some negative......

And a few indifferent....

And thats OK......

Nobody need be attacked for their opinion....or perception of JT.....or anything else related to the FINS.....as humans.....we tend to see things differently....

Now.....if you want to debate opinions....well....that's what this forum is for.....

But for to tell others they shouldn't post on here.....well....I don't think that decision is yours....nor should it be......we still got free speech over here......

As far as calling you a NAZI....well....I was out of line.....I was tired.....and needed to make my point in the shortest amour of words possible....but it was still uncalled for......

I hope you better see my point with this post.....

Amount

As a dolfan, I was upset Taylor left for the Jets too. However, its "slave-owner" mentality by us fans to completely demerit him based on going to the Jets alone.

The discussion here is does he deserve to to have his number retired? The answer to that question is, yes it definitely worthy of discussion.

But, when I carefully weigh over this question, it brings up even more questions. Is he more deserved than Little or any other Dolphins players for the fact of that matter. Whom themselves made gigantic contributions to this storied franchise and have yet to have thier numbers retired.

Another question, why should he leap frog all of them to the top of the list? He's 5th overall on the sack list, not 1st overall. If he were at least 1st overall on the nfl sack list. Leap frogging other deserving Dolphins to have his #99 retired, would be a far more compelling argument.

NYG

Can't follow you there at all. He is supposed to wait for them to make a decision and give up on opportunity currently available? If they had said no, then what? He is left with nothing. Put yourself in his position, you have an offer from a company good for now, not later, and another company saying well maybe later we will make you an offer but we are not sure, do you take the sure thing or gamble being out of work? If anything it was the fins that dissed him and showed him no respect. I can't blame him one bit.

Retire #99

I don't want to see anyone else wear that number.

Some of you are way too touchy on the subject of JT going to another team. Every team in the league is comprised mostly of players that have been on other teams. Its business, musical chairs every season. Loyalty is good only for fools. One has to look out for #1, yourself.

JT 5th overall sack leader. Larry Little, name easily comes into the conversation as one of the 5 best guards of all time.

This is just one example. Lets not even go Dwight Stephenson. Some consider him best center of all time. #57 isnt retired in Miami.

You guys and your enemy talk. I'll bet if we had a chance to bring Revis over nobody would be pissing on him and calling him the enemy. It's a league. Without the enemy there is nothing.

strap the helmet on one more time and sack sanchize 3 times!!! that will move you into 4th place i believe. go out with a big win beating the jets by 20+ points and ending their playoff dream before one of the other teams do at 4pm.

H.O.F. yes, jersey# no. that jet 99 still stings.

Where does he rank as far as the trifecta is concerned? No, not Parcells/Ireland/Sparano...I'm talking sack/fumble recovery/td... He has to be near the top if not at the top. He should be a first ballot. He was defensive player of the year on a crappy team and often impacted the game with sacks, forced fumbles, fumble recoveries, int's & td's. Thank you JT!! I'll be in Canton when you get inducted.

lucipher, it was the jets. not so much when he went to wash.
but the jets.....
the jets.... lol

Didnt the Jets already retire #99? Gastineau?

Haha, Kris, you called Europe a nazi, Hahaha, oh man!

Christmas tidings....

Damn, guess not, Jt was wearing it! LOL

db. he wore 98 at wash.

Mark....It was like 2 AM.....I was tired man.....lol.....

yeah, wt.f were u bytches doing up so early.?.lol

DA,

Just remember what JT and how HE dissed the Dolphins in 08, the dancing TV show, practices, etc. ME, ME, ME all JT. JT asked to be traded fiasco.

In the end, it was JT's decision and he needs to live with that and what some of us fans think about all that. I wont forgive him and he doesn't deserve to have his number retired. No hall of rings.

The Jets would have kept the offer on the table after the draft and if the Fins decided not to keep him. If that wasn't there, the Pats would have provided JT a home.

I can understand what you are saying and i also understand what JT was feeling. JT did NOT want to leave for obvious reasons, family, ties etc and he wanted to be close to his family. It wasn't about $$ as he had made plenty. I look at it as he didn't consider fans and the team and now he comes back after sacking us on the Jets and we are talking about retiring his jersey and HOF, etc.

I'm sorry, I take it as he deserted us and that's how I will remember JT.

What goes around (JT goes to our enemy) comes around (when he returned he should be shunned for his middle finger.

Again DA, it's all about ME, ME and ME and me.

That's it my friend.. Need to head out so talk with you later DA.

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