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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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HOF MY AzAzAZZZZZZZZ.
( BUFFET OF NO'S)

Jason Taylor is one of my all-time favorite Dolphins. My favorite memory of JT was his rookie year during the preseason. He was hanging out with Dan Marino and a bunch of other Dolphins in Downtown Fort Lauderdale. Everyone was crowded around Marino wanting to talking to him. Standing in the corner was one Jason Taylor standing all by himself. No one knew who he was. I walked over to him and started talking to him. Nicest guy in the world, he talked to me for a good 5-10 minutes. Saw him again at a comedy show several years later. Walk up to him and tell him to please beat the Jets! And he tells me he hates those ####ing guys (well I don't remember if he used those exact words) and that they were going to do everything they could to beat them. It wasn't some BS thing though. You could see it in his eyes. He really hated them! JT has always been classy guy on and off the field. One of the greatest Dolphins of all time. You will be missed!

AT BEST, JT DESERVES TO BE IN THE DISCUSSION FOR NEXT DOLPHIN NUMBER TO BE RETIRED. THAT LIST SHOULD AT LEAST HAVE 10 OTHER DOLPHINS ON IT THAT ARE JUST AS DESRVING.

PEACE OUT FELLA'S!

PS:

GOTTA GO OR ALOCO WILL ACCUSE ME OF 23 STRAIGHT HOURS OF POSTING! LOL

later db.

No offense, but what is the big deal with Little? He is in the HOF, he is on the honor roll. Why should his # be retired? I personally think the only # which deserves to be retired is Dan Marino's. The greatest passer of his generation and one of the greatest NFL players of all time. For the record, as much as I love JT, I don't think his number should be retired...

Ireland,

My only deal was if JT deserves to have his number retired so does Little and you could add even more names to that list.

I also agree Marino earned his number retirement. Still Griese has to be there too, being the only Dolphin qb with 2 championship rings. It would be a travesty not to acknowledge that.

Just another dolphins player to not win a superbowl or play in one.

There will never be another J.T. (Retire '99')

JT is truly one of the greatest players and men to ever play the game. I hope this report is false and he comes back for one more year... but if it is, Dolphins football will never be the same because there will never be another like #99!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Armando has always had a "man-crush" on JT. Thats the only reason we're discussing JT #99 retirement right now.

Its Armando blowing "pink kisses" at JT. LOL

N.e. will lose to either pitts. Or bal.

Fifth on the all-time sack list isn't the whole story. JT also excelled in interceptions returned for tds, fumbles caused and recovered etc.

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)
.

I was mad at JT for going to the jets last year. But he loves footbal and wanted to play another year. Now I hope they retire his jersey as he's one of the best players to ever put on a phins jersey. Good luck in retirement JT!

Retiring jerseys and even making the HOF should be reserved for only the absolute best, legendary players. Too many people get into the HOF as it is. There should be max 3 ballots per player, if you can't make it in in 3 tries, you were not legendary.

If you have to ask if they should be an HOF'r or retire their jersey, then the answer is no.

DevilsAdvocate,

I agree. The HOF is crazy. Good players get in and it shouldn't be that way. The HOF should be for like you said the ELITE. I remember talking to my uncle a few years back and he said Harry Carson was a vocal leader and a good player but he was stunned he was a HOF. He said he was stunned he was even considered. Must be that NY biased

I HATE the Jets as much as the next guy and I was angry and maybe even bitter when JT joined the Jets. But DA is right on with his points....put yourself in JT's position....what would YOU have done. He HATED the Jets as much as the next guy and said so many times but the Dolphins firced his hand. It was weird seeing him in their uniform but it shouldn't take away from his career one iota. He want to play here and the 'Phins showed him no love. He wasn't ready to hang them up and he had no other options. He didn't the right thing...

I'll be a happy, happy guy if and when he gets the Hall of Fame call, same way I was delighted when Alomar was inducted.

HOF HOULD BE LIKE MLB, ONLY ONE GUY GETYS IN A YEAR NOT LIKE IN NFL WHERE 5 TO 8 GET IN EVERY YEAR
MLB HOF 102 PLAYERS
NFL HOF 608 PLAYERS
NOT MY IDEA OF EXCLUSIVE
(BUFFET OF KNOWLEDGE)

ALoco,

Not sure where you're gtting your number from (out of thin air maybe) but baseball doesn't just induct one player a year and currently there are 296 individuals in the Hall of Fame. There are curently 267 member enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Your welcome for the buffet of knowledge.

Haha, merry Christmas ALoco! Craig, ALoco's comedic genius is in producing stats that almost look legit but obviously fired out of his rectum. I will always say this, ALoco should have his own TV show. Guy rocks this blog.

Buffet of acorns

The thing about JT for me is that he was one of the better DL of his era but we all know how little it actually meant to the success of the team. I remember some moments with him that aren't the most flattering in all honesty, like the time he and Z.Thomas went to HC Wannstedt to make a stink about Darryl Gardner saying they didn't care for him and didn't want to play with him anymore. The following morning Wannstedt would cut Gardner in a move that shocked at the time to please and stroke the EGO of his In-Law DE/LB Tandem.

There were a few of these moments with him during his 13 Seasons with the Dolphins. Wannstedt made the catastrophic error of building around these two which got the team no were during their time(In actuality JJ should have taken Ray Lewis with pick 26 in 96 but that's a different story) In my view he goes the way of players like Bryce Paup, Kevin Greene and other one dimensional pass rushers who put up great sack numbers as well but never played for or one Championships who are not in the HOF.

This is not meant as a slight on JT for his time as a Jet or his CLASSLESS Sack dance on Monday Night week 3 Vs. Miami when we all were alot angrier at Parcells than him for Taylor playing some were else. It is simply an observation about his place in History given his specific game which mirrored that of other DE/OLB's in NFL history like the ones I mentioned and others like Greg Lloyd, Tim Harris and a host not in the NFL HOF. All in all a nice career that got the Dolphins no were.

OK, he didn't win a SB...
"adjczar" tells us, rightfully, that he was always fun to watch.

It reminds me of the words of Sócrates Brasileiro Sampaio de Souza Vieira de Oliveira (aka Socrates, famous brazilian soccer player who didn't win a WorldCup and died recently) He said : "you shouldn't play to win, but to be remembered"

Jason Taylor'll be remembered because he was always "fun to watch"
And lots of SB winners are going to be forgotten fast, very fast.

LOL....you're right about that Mark.

So where are you at with all of this stuff? Hard to cheer against the 'Phins and for the Jets this weekend, no? I think I want to see us win and knock the Jets out of the playoffs. If that means we draft 8th instead of 6th, then so be it. Hopefully, the Colts beat the Jags and the Rams get the first pick. Then sell the farm for Luck. If that means three number one picks, then so be it....that's the price. Pay it! You can always get the picks back down the road somewhere. Failing that, we have to do what can to get RGIII and if that means trading up to the second pick to get RGIII, then we do it. Three firsts might be a bit rich to get him but I don't think it will take that. We can always get a RT and safety in FA.

The Jets are out of the playoffs regardless of the outcome Sunday. The combination they would need to get in is almost comical. Their season really ended last Sunday against the Giants.

That said, I hope Miami kicks the stuffing out of those frauds.

So, the knock on Taylor is that the team didn't win enough?

Seems to me that sounds a LOT like the criticism leveled at Dan Marino. You remember him, right? Guy with zero rings and all that?

Can't we simply recognize that some players are GREAT regardless of the team around them?

Gale Sayers and Dick Butkus lost a LOT more games than they won, folks. Mush have been their fault.

LOL @ 2 watt..... I couldn't sleep last night....

tj,

I believe you are wrong. My understanding is the Jets have the tiebreaker. If they beat the Dolphins they are in at 9-7. Someone else want to correct me on this?

Craig M,

No Jets need a ton of help. Most notably the Bengals are 9-6 and all they need to do is win and their in.

Outside of that I think they need to win and have Tennessee lose as well.

Andy,

Thanks for correcting me. I see that now. But if the Jets win and the Bengals and Titans lose, aren't the Jets in by way of having a better Conference record?

Bill Stanfill was big and mean but Jason Taylor is in another category. Master technician with a shining Bulb, also a playmaker of the highest sort and probably one of the greatest Competitors and Leaders to ever grace a Dolphin's uniform.

Regardless of the scenarios involved, something poetic about the Dolphins knocking the Jets out of the playoffs. It honestly doesn't make a huge difference between picking 6th or 8th. It's still going to involve a tradeup. I don't see any way that Washington will be picking after us, unless we trade up and our biggest fear should be that they are going to take our QB.

Craig M,

Yeah it's probably just best to beat the Jets to ruin any chance but and this is not directed at you, WHO CARES! It would be another meaningless win in the cap of Todd Bowles and Miami's draft selection. If Miami can just find a way to get around 7 trading up if they are so inclined to do so isn't too bad if say it was for RG3 with a trade up to 2 or 3.

According to NFL Sirius yesterday I think it was Kirwan who said the trade index chart which he didnt have available but would be something like, swapping first rounders, possibly a player (he said possibly a position like Bess to Colts he mentioned just as example) or a 3rd and then a 1st in 2013 and a 5th sounds about right. He went on to say this is what the trade value chart would be in a "NORMAL" year moving up from 7, 8 to 2 or 3. But given RG3 and being a hot commodity because of the Heisman the demand might be more and expect it to be more.

If we beat the jets, we knock them out of any chance of the playoffs. Let's beat the jets! Let the Dolphins be the ones to crush their hopes!

The Jets chances for the playoffs are slim to none. Even if they win, THREE other teams need to lose. The Jets are done. Rex will have to blow some new smoke.

Andy,

I just can't bring myself to actually cheer for the Jets. I'm all for beating them if possible. You're right, at the end of the day, who cares....except that it's a good way to end the season, to get some momentum for next year and if knocks our hated rivals out, all the better. Cannot STAND seeing Rex and heis team in the playoffs for YET another year and haven't to listen to people talk about them. End their season NOW and leave them wondering where they are going to go from here, with or without Sanchez.

DA,

Hope you're right. Problem is, they are one of those teams that just won't die or go away. We thought they were dead in past years and they somehow kept things going. Let's hope it's over Sunday....

So, the knock on Taylor is that the team didn't win enough?

Seems to me that sounds a LOT like the criticism leveled at Dan Marino. You remember him, right?

Guy with zero rings and all that? Can't we simply recognize that some players are GREAT regardless of the team around them?

Gale Sayers and Dick Butkus lost a LOT more games than they won, folks. Mush have been their fault.

tj | December 28, 2011 at 12:18 PM

Comparing the career of Dan Marino and Jason Taylor is baseless.

Marino played the premier position in the League had the Greatest Season ever by a Q.B. statistically breaking completions, Yards and T.D. marks simultaneously which had stood the test of time in an ERA were League rules favored the DB's (Holding at the snap and hand checking with contact down field)

He helped revolutionize his position and his contributions to the game of FOOTBALL far out weigh his lack of S.B. appearances.

Marino by the way went to the Playoffs 14 out of 17 career Seasons while JT went 3 times in a 13 year Fins career and in his ERA was one of a few who played his type of game and had greater accomplishments.

Once again let me repeat:
rookies, some undrafted, will start at the following positions next season: RT, RG, OLB, NT, FS

My favorite play of JT's was the game against the Colts when he broke Peyton Mannings jaw on a vicious sack. Today he'd get fined and possibly suspended for it.

JT has been an awesome player for a long time; time has finally taken its toll and here we are again, debating on the sidelines. I will remember JT's Defensive Player of the Year season (he won 2 games that year off TD's and ALMOST won 2 others). Sacks galore. But what I will remember is not being a moron, no scandals/arrests, no shame brought on the organization. Plus let's not forget the influence he's had on the Miami area through his charities.

I think JT will get the HOF eventually. I hope Zach will as well.

Fin4life, where did you hear of the tantrum to DW? Never heard about that.

The jets are already a dead duck. This game means nothing. Lose it, they aren't making the playoffs and the natives are restless because they were promised a super bowl. And the ESPN cover boy mark Sanchez has been proved to be a fraud. The jets are dead and buried.

No doubt we have to trade up. I'd gladly give up 3 round picks for luck. Easily. Of the 3 first round picks, this will be the only high pick. Next year, we should be at least an 8 win team with luck and will be elite the year after that. So that means the 6th pick this year, approx 18th pick next year and somewhere in the mid to late 20s year after that. Easily worth the price.

Indy jax will be interesting. Neither team will want to win that one. We may see a new record set for punts or turnovers in that one. Come on, Indy!!

No #99 should not be retired. I think he will eventually make the HOF, and Ring of Honor.

JT for life ! D Man Canada here and Jason Taylor is as much the Miami Dolphins as Dan Marino. What a class pro, a fantastic defensive end, teamate. Cant say enough about him. I have a couple Jason Taylor jerseys and he is probably the only thing to come out of that organization the last 10 years. Well him and Zach Thomas. The two best defenders I ever seen in pads for the fish. To Jason and his family, thanks for the heart, the soul, the passion, the class and the sacks and sack dance. Loved it every time. His jersey will be retired at Miami stadium (whatever they end up calling it). As for Hall of Fame. He has my vote !

D Man Canada Out !

I remember that Chicago game where Taylor was unstoppable....Great career, great person, the most enjoyable/exciting player to watch post-Marino...could ALWAYS count on him to make a big-time play....he brought it EVERY game....definite HOF'er.....

Taylor has the fifth most sacks ever, has the most fumbles returned for a touchdown in NFL history and most defensive lineman td's ever. If he's not a hall of famer, I don't know who is. Therefore, his #99 should definitely be retired, since he is the dolphins best defensive player ever

Thank you for the memories Jason Taylor!!!! #99

if you all are going to the game, make the send off loud peeps. I will be cheering loudly all the way from El Paso, Texas! JT, you will be sorely missed. Thanks for the great memories!

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