From Pro Football Hall of Fame Archives: Jason Taylor retains close ties with Miami community
Pro Football Hall of Fame
JASON TAYLOR spent much of his Pro Football Hall of Fame career playing for the Miami Dolphins. He remains close with the organization and will be calling the team’s three preseason games this season.
Taylor also was hired this offseason as a defensive analyst on Mario Cristobal's staff at the University of Miami.
“I’m hoping to give these kids everything I have, everything I can knowledge-wise, mentorship, life advice, discipline if that’s what’s needed,” he told MiamiHurricanes.com. “Whatever it is, give them whatever they need and provide them with all the resources to be successful and achieve their goals.
“I’m a servant leader. I’m just here to help serve. And obviously, I want to win. Anything I’m associated with, I want to win.”
After starring as a two-sport athlete in football and basketball at the University of Akron, the Dolphins selected Taylor in the third round (73rd overall) of the 1997 National Football League Draft.
Taylor rushed on the scene and recorded his first career sack in his first regular-season game. He took down Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jim Harbaugh on Aug. 31, 1997, during Miami’s 16-10 victory.
Taylor sacked 71 different quarterbacks during his 15 NFL seasons.
On Oct. 7, 2001, he recorded his first sack of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in a 30-10 Dolphins win in Miami. Taylor went on to sack Brady 11.5 times, the most in his career against an opposing player.
“The games against Jason are some of my most (well, maybe least) memorable,” Brady said in a news conference. “He is one of the greatest opponents I’ve ever faced, having had the ‘pleasure’ of looking across the line and seeing him on the opposite side of the ball, not once, but twice each season for a decade. While I entered the league with a healthy respect for Jason and the incredibly talented Miami defense he led, my admiration for him as a player and a person only continued to grow with each play, each game, each season.”
Taylor led the league in sacks in 2002 (18.5) and compiled 139.5 sacks over his career with the Dolphins, Washington Redskins and New York Jets. That number ranks seventh in NFL history. His 131 sacks as a member of the Dolphins are the most in franchise history.
He contributions weren’t limited to sacking the quarterback.
“It was just demoralizing as an offensive player whenever he'd get the sack,” JONATHAN OGDEN said. “Then [he’d get] the strip, the recovery, and then you had to worry about him running like a deer to the end zone after that. It was like he could hit the trifecta on any play. But that was the threat he brought to every game.”
On Nov. 1, 2009, Taylor rewrote the NFL record books when he recovered a fumble by New York Jets running back Shonn Greene and returned it 48 yards for a touchdown in a 30-25 Dolphins victory.
The scoop and score was the sixth of Taylor’s career and surpassed the previous mark of five held by Atlanta Falcons linebacker Jessie Tuggle.
In 2017, Taylor became the first former University of Akron football player enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
“He has been an outstanding ambassador for his sport, for the Dolphins and for all of South Florida,” Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said. “His accomplishments on the field made him one of the greatest players in Dolphins history, but his enduring example as a role model to so many people adds a distinctive luster to that legacy.”
Taylor’s legacy on the field and in his community will be preserved in Canton, Ohio, at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Jon Kendle is Vice President of Archives, Education & Football Information at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. His columns tell unique and interesting stories starting from the League’s founding in downtown Canton in 1920 to the present day.
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