Taylor Talks About Being a Jet

Jason Taylor said goodbye to South Florida this week to begin a new chapter with the New York Jets. Having addressing the South Florida media on Tuesday, he talked with New York reporters and tackled a variety of issues, including the Dolphins' decision to re-sign Jason Ferguson but not him.

Here's what Taylor had to say:

On how to reconcile perceived rift with Jets fans: "I think the No. 1 currency in the NFL is what you do on the football field. If you want to get results, if you want to get something done, if you want to get a new contract, the best the way to go about doing that is by your play. That's what I plan to do. Come over here and play my butt off like I have for 13 years in the league and give this organization and these fans everything that I have. (I've) totally committed myself to helping these guys win games and try to win a championship. As far as the things that have been said in the past, we had a good time with it and went at it a lot of times and added some fuel to the fire. Me being up here now may or may not add more fuel to the fire, but as far as the Jets fans are concerned, I'm one of you guys now. I'm part of the team and I'm trying to win a championship for these guys."

On if he hoped he would have been able to stay in Miami: "I think I made it very obvious at the beginning of the offseason that I wanted to be back in Miami and was looking forward to doing that. When it became more and more clear over the last few weeks that wasn't going to happen, we had to go in a different direction. I couldn't be happier to have someone like Rex Ryan come up to the forefront and want me. He was one half away from going to the Super Bowl last year, he and the Jets. (The Jets) had the No. 1 defense in the league. For him to express interest in a 35-year old defensive end/linebacker out of the rival Miami Dolphins was very flattering to me. When it became clear that we were going to have to go in a different direction, there was no other phone call or no more flattering offer than it has been from the New York Jets."

On how surreal it is to be a New York Jet: "It is different. It's a little surreal. To be honest, walking into the building on my first visit and kind of feeling like you're in somewhat of enemy territory, it was different. The fact of the matter is I'm a New York Jet now and I'm excited to be. I'm looking forward to seeing what we can get done as a football team. There are a lot of good players on this team (and) a lot of good guys. Again, I know I keep raving about Rex Ryan. I haven't played for him yet, but he seems like a very special and fun coach to play for. All the guys that I've talked to, whether it be from this team or guys that have played for him in the past at Baltimore or what have you, everyone has great things to say about him, so I'm here now. I'm committed to what I'm doing. You're going to get my best effort like I've given for the last 13 years."

On if he's concerned about the negative reaction he might get from Miami fans: "I spoke last night in Miami and I spoke from the heart about the way I feel about the Miami Dolphins fans. I've played a long time in Miami, so those fans and a lot of people in that city and the people associated with that city will always hold a special place in my heart. It's like someone dating a girl so long and you guys break up, they still hold a piece in your heart. At the same time, it's time for a new chapter. It didn't work out that I could stay in Miami and I'm proud to be where I am now. (I) look forward to creating some havoc for the Jets and winning some ballgames and winning some fans over here. There is going to be a certain element of Miami Dolphins fans that aren't going to forgive me and always have a problem with it. I can't change everybody's mind. I can't convince everybody. The same thing goes for Jets fans that may or may not be upset with me for the over the years back-and-forth trash talking. I can't change everybody's mind, but I can do my best to help this team win some football games and I think in the meantime we'll be all right."

On why the Dolphins gave a contract to Jason Ferguson and not him: "I really can't answer that question. That's a question for them. That's their prerogative. They can run their football team the way they want and I can respect that. They felt Jason Ferguson was someone that needed to get locked up right away for whatever reason and they did it. It's fine. At the end of the day, I think things work out the way they're supposed to. I believe in that. Regardless of what they wanted to do or were trying to do or whatever their thinking was, I'm in a new place now and it's time to move forward and try to make something happen here."

On why Bill Parcells didn't like him: "Again, I hate to not answer your question, but I can't answer that for you because I don't know. I really don't know."

On if Parcells ever said anything to him that would indicate there was a rift between the two: "No. I really didn't spend much time with Bill. (I) didn't talk to him a whole lot. I dealt mostly with Tony (Sparano), the head coach. As far as (Dolphins general manager) Jeff Ireland and Bill are concerned, I never really had much conversation with those guys at all."

On if it would be ironic to win a Super Bowl with the Jets: "t is pretty ironic where we find ourselves right now, but I think God lets things happen in life for a reason and this is where I'm supposed to be right now. I'm here for one reason and I'm here to play football as best as I can to help this team win a Super Bowl. People in Hollywood spend a lot of time trying to figure out a way to end a movie or people try to find a way to end a book. What better ending is it than to win a Super Bowl? To do it here would be pretty ironic, but it would be awesome."

On his health: "My knees are great. I'm going to knock on wood because I haven't had any knee issues and I don't want to start now. I don't want it to be a jinx. My shoulder, I had it repaired back in February and it's going really well. I'm well ahead of schedule. I was talking to the trainers here today and everything looks good. I'm looking forward to getting it stronger and recovering in time for training camp, so I can kick off training camp 100 percent."

On if he will participate in the offseason conditioning program: "I know I missed a good bit of it so far because I just signed today, but I'm here. I'm here. I'm in the program. I'm doing what everybody else is doing. Again, I'm fully committed to trying to be the best that I can and try to help this team any way I can. I'm no different than anybody else. I'll be here working and committed to it."

On how much more productive he thinks he can be in a Rex Ryan defense: "I think I can be a lot more effective than I was last year. Like you said, I played the SAM position last year and did a lot more run-down stuff than normal and than was anticipated. I still ended up with seven sacks. I felt like I could have gotten more, but as a pass rusher you need at-bats, so to speak. I'm going to use a baseball analogy. You need at-bats. You need to be able to set a tackle up and give them pass rushes repeatedly over and over again and start to break them down a little bit. Playing the SAM position was a little different last year in not getting much of a chance to do that. I'm sure I have the potential still. I know people like to think I'm old, but I like to think I have the potential still to ring up some good numbers and make some good plays and get some game-changing plays. That's what I'm here for."

On if he looked at when the Jets were playing the Dolphins: "I did see the schedule last night and I know we open up against Baltimore on Monday night. As all football players will tell you, you take it one week at a time. That's probably our first challenge. I did see when we play Miami and I'm sure they will be interesting weeks to say the least. They'll be very interesting."

On the key to new veterans blending in with a team: "I think your role needs to be identified, whether it be by yourself very quickly or by the staff up front. I think that's been done here. You find ways to mesh. That's the purpose of the offseason when you get together and are working together. Number one, the young players have someone to look at and to learn from professionals that have done it at high level and have done it the right way. If you have strong enough leadership in your locker room, you can mix any personalities together and get the right results. I think the locker room is very important and I think the head coach is ultra important. I think most of those factors are in place here and I don't foresee a problem."

On if he is close to any of the current Jets: "Not too close. There are obviously guys I know and I respect. The funny thing about this game is sometimes the players are closer and have more of a relationship than people think on opposing teams. Obviously, the locals create a lot of the rivalries. There's a mutual amount of respect for a lot of the players on this team and it's an admiration for some of the guys on the team, too. I think we'll be just fine."

On if anyone questions his desire or hunger to be a Jet: "People are going to question it. I can understand if they have some questions about it, but I can't really concern myself with that. I've had a chip on my shoulder my entire career. I was always told I was too small, I was too this, I was too pretty. I've heard that before from people. I've always been told I couldn't do it. I've always had that chip on my shoulder. I'm 35 years old and people say I can't do it anymore because I'm too old and washed up and can't get to the quarterback anymore. The chips keep growing. The fire is still burning. Trust me. It's burning hot."

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