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News » Miami Dolphins Inside Slant 2009-05-15


Miami Dolphins Inside Slant 2009-05-15


Miami Dolphins Inside Slant 2009-05-15
Jason Taylor returned to the Dolphins -- taking less money to play in Miami -- as part of the team's ongoing effort to bolster a pass rush that relied strictly on Joey Porter last season.


It seems like a win-win situation for Bill Parcells and Company.

Other than Porter's 17.5 sacks last season, the Dolphins received just 9.5 sacks from every defensive lineman. Although Taylor will turn 35 in September and is coming off a subpar, injury-plagued season in Washington in which he had just 29 tackles and 3.5 sacks, he appears robust at 255 pounds and healthy enough to cause offensive coordinators and quarterbacks plenty of headaches this season. It was just three seasons ago that Taylor was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

"I expect J.T. to come back, play in a full season this year, come back healthy and come back as the J.T. that he left Miami as," Dolphins middle linebacker Channing Crowder told WQAM-560 radio. "Now that he's back he is going to get rolling."

Parcells, Miami's vice president of football operations, proved he can turn the other cheek Wednesday when he re-signed a player he shipped to Washington last summer because Taylor opted to "Dance with the Stars" instead of the Dolphins during voluntary conditioning.

Taylor, who was released by the Redskins in what seemed to be a mutual decision, took the ultimate hometown discount when he accepted a $1.1 million, one-year deal that includes an additional $400,000 in easily attainable incentives, so he could end his stellar career back home with his original team while remaining close to his wife and three small children, as well as his charitable foundation.

Taylor rejected his most ardent suitor in Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots to play for coach Tony Sparano, who he has admired since their first meeting last year. Of course, he will participate in the offseason conditioning program and will place all TV and movie ventures on hold.

GM Jeff Ireland, who said during draft weekend that Taylor was just one of several "acorns" lying on the ground that they were investigating, expressed a concern that bringing back Taylor could retard the growth of younger pass-rushing linebackers such as CFL export Cameron Wake, Charlie Anderson, Tearrius George, Charlie Anderson and Erik Walden.

Clearly, Sparano and Ireland felt Taylor was worth the paltry $1.1 million gamble and an experienced pass-rusher could be worth a couple of extra wins this season.

Taylor is expected to be more of a pass-rushing specialist in obvious passing situations as well as much needed relief and as a complementary help to Porter, who is 32. Sparano is banking on Taylor's leadership and work ethic to rub off on some of the younger players, and who better to serve as on-field mentors to Wake than Taylor and Porter?

The Dolphins already are ahead of the game having used the second-round pick obtained in last year's trade of Taylor on versatile quarterback Pat White, as well as owning a sixth-round pick next season.



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 15, 2009

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Chris Crocker Name: Chris Crocker
#25
Position: S
Age: 28
Experience: 6 years
College: Marshall
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