Jason Taylor spoke with AM radio station 760 ESPN yesterday and his interview was posted yesterday in the Sun-sentinel by Harvey Fialkov.
He speaks of Super Bowl aspirations, playing for the Miami Dolphins for free, and Daunte Culpepper. He also has a really nice one liner about Ricky Williams at the end.
Would you agree to play for free if it meant the Dolphins would make the playoffs?
"JT: Playoffs, no, Super Bowl, yes. I’ve been to the playoffs before, our goal is not to make the playoffs, it’s to win the Super Bowl. [Our goal is] not to win 10 games or make the first round of the playoffs and see what happens. I get up every day and go to work, to win the Super Bowl, anything less than that is not a success – in our eyes, the fans eyes and our owner’s eyes."
– My opinion: why would anyone seriously ask this question? 90 percent of “football” players and not “money football” players are going to answer yes to that question, in fact, why would anyone say no to that….publicly.
Would you leave the Dolphins for a better chance of winning a Super Bowl?
"JT: It doesn’t cross my mind. There are no guarantees in the league and to leave the team you [entered the league] with and chase Super Bowl dreams somewhere else, there’s no guarantee another team’s going to make it. It can turn around here; New Orleans turned it around quickly last year and was 30 minutes away from the big game. If I made the playoffs somewhere else there would always be a piece of me that felt empty, for not having a chance to do it here for the fans. The way I’ve been received by the community, I would always have a void for not being able to turn it around and get it back to where it’s supposed to be for our football franchise."
– My Opinion: I truly believe that this exactly how Jason Taylor feels. Taylor has not only been the face of this organization since Marino left, his endless class has allowed the Miami Dolphins to exude the type of class that was overshadowed by coaches such as JJ, DW, and Saban. I have said that if the price were right, I would trade Taylor, IF, this team were rebuilding so he would have a shot elsewhere, we are not rebuilding…completely…and it is nice to hear a player speak with passion about something other than money.
Can you win a Super Bowl with the Dolphins?
"JT: I truly believe we can, if everyone buys into what we are trying to do, if we all give up bull crap excuses and does what were supposed to do, I know we can win."
– My Opinion: Taylors comments couldn’t be more true when he says “if everyone buys into it”. Taylor is the first to say that the system that Saban brought in would have worked but that not all of the 53 players bought into it or even gave it a chance, in fact, Taylor has said that some players felt insulted by what Saban was trying to do.
At the Dolphins team banquet, why did you make a point to emphasize all the work that Daunte Culpepper has put into coming back?
"JT: Because of the heat he’s taking in the media. Daunte Culpepper is my quarterback, Cleo Lemon is my quarterback and [John] Beck is my quarterback. Daunte has received a lot of bad press and he doesn’t deserve it. People are free to write and say what they want, but at the banquet I was in a position to stand up for the man. I see how hard he works and how bad he wants to come back and be successful. I’ve seen stuff in the papers and heard people on the radio say he’s not showing up for workouts, he’s missing rehab, he’s gaining weight, he’s not working hard and a bunch of other crap that couldn’t be further from the truth. I thought it was a good chance for me to stand up in front of everyone when they are all listening and say the man is working, he wants to come back and he’s trying as hard as he can to come back from an injury that nine out 10 people would have never played again after.He had a very bad knee injury and he’s working his way back, so let’s be patient and give him a chance. We knew last year when he rushed back that he wasn’t 100 percent healthy and the man needs time to heal. Give him a shot and if the team decides to go in another direction, then fine. As far as the media and fans are concerned – who are kind of ignorant of the situation – [they] need to take a step back and say, “This is a grown man, a man who has feelings, who has kids and let’s be careful how bad we trash him.”"
– My Opinion: I agree with some but not all of what was said here. I am not a 100 percent supporter of Daunte Culpepper and I am one of those who believe that Culpepper will have a hard time adjusting to life as a pocket style quarterback and that he will not make that transition easily if at all. I was all for the trading of Cpepp prior to the draft, at this point there is zero benefit to trading him right now. He may actually have more trade value if he is able to work out in training camp, and doesn’t win the job. I don’t think that Cpepp “deserves” a shot in training camp, but, from a business standpoint, it makes sense to see if he is healthy enough to compete. Right now he costs us nothing, but if he cant win the starting job, there is no place for him here, and if he is not healthy enough to play, then Miami needs to move on without him. As for Taylors’ comments, well, thats why he is the leader of this team.
What are your thoughts on how the Chiefs are treating Trent Green?
"JT: I think the Chiefs are being a little ridiculous in what they are trying to do, but one thing is for sure: time waits for no man. June 1stis coming up and the Chiefs and the Dolphins know that if it’s going to work out it will. He’s not part of our team right now, the guys I said earlier [Culpepper, Lemon, Beck] are our quarterbacks and that’s who I’m ready to go to battle with."
– My Opinion: On this I really have none. I don’t think Taylor really wants to address the issue all that much. Asking a guy if he wants a player from another team is counterproductive, and that is not Jason Taylor.
Does it matter who the head coach is, as long as Dom Capers is your defensive coordinator?
"JT: Yeah it does. We have an offensive-minded coach and we need to score more points and be more efficient offensively. With Dom being retained as defensive coordinator it creates continuity and we can stay comfortable. We need to tweak a few things and throw some new wrinkles in. Defensively, I think the transition between [Nick] Saban and [Cam] Cameron has been seamless. Offensively, I think it will be a big difference. Cam is calling the plays and has a lot more control over the offense than previous coaches."
– My Opinion: I couldn’t be happier to hear him say that. I think the retention of Capers will do as much for this team as Cameron being hired to run the team and redo the offense.
Will Ricky Williams ever play another game for your team?
"JT: Who really knows, who cares?"
– My Opinion: I would have just said, “who Cares”. Sounds like JT isn’t thrilled with Weedy either.
All in all, I think this is a good interview but nothing spectacular. Jason Taylor is 100 percent class, and his comments again show him in that light. The questions were a little weak as I think the fans would like to know more about what kind of changes our defense will go through with Capers vs. Saban as opposed to the “free play” question. But, it’s Jason Taylor so it’s worth reading nonetheless.