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When we think of every NFL franchise, names usually pop right into our heads. When thinking of the Miami Dolphins, there should only be a few names that precedes Jason Taylor. When it comes to the Dolphins defense, his name is at the too of the list.
The slim trim defensive end out of the University of Akron played 13 seasons wreaking havoc throughout the league. He a was six-time Pro Bowl player ranking seventh in NFL history in sacks with 139.5 sacks in his career. He was the 2006 NFL Defensive player of the year finishing with 13.5 sacks, nine forced fumbles and two interceptions for touchdowns.
On Wednesday, Taylor had a media conference call about his induction into the Hall of Fame, which I had the honor of being a part of. Here’s a question posed by my colleague Raphael Haynes from The 3 Point Conversion.
Raphael Haynes: “Looking at and the way you were criticized about your size and playing the defensive end position but you still prevailed and got inducted into the Hall of Fame, can you talk about the satisfaction of getting in the Hall of Fame after going through all of that and then what would be your message to any young player dealing with size.”
Jason Taylor: “The gratification is there, making the Hall is great but when I came into the league in 97′ it wasn’t En’Vogue to be a 240 pound-245 pound defensive end. There weren’t a whole lot of guys out there. It was kind of unheard of. There were a lot of questions about whether I can survive and thrive at that weight. The game has evolved now so the tweener, they used to call it back in the day, is now what teams are looking to draft. The game has changed, the position has changed and its great to see that change and kinda be a part of that.”
Taylor would answer a number of other questions. When asked who was the toughest quarterback to sack, Taylor responded by saying “Different quarterbacks for different reasons. Big Ben [Rothelisberger] was the hardest to bring down because he’s so big and strong. Mike Vick was really hard to catch because he was so dang fast. But maybe the hardest to get was Peyton Manning because he had a knack for getting rid of the ball and everything was so timely with him. You might get a clean rush and make a good move and get close but the ball would be gone.”
Jason Taylor will be the 308th person to be enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and deservantly so. We see flashes of numbers throughout our memories. A rare glimpse of greatness that somehow repeats itself over and over again. Yes the truly all-time great players give us reason to celebrate when its all said and done. Long after their careers are over, they usually give us one more reason to celebrate. Congratulations Jason Taylor on a stellar career and your induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.