Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Jason Taylor backs up Ricky Williams' take
Jason Taylor wouldn't disagree with Ricky Williams' take on the Miami Dolphins' work environment.
Taylor on Wednesday morning was a guest on WQAM, the same Miami radio station Williams made disparaging remarks about Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano two days earlier.
Williams usually is reserved, but he bluntly criticized Sparano for being a micromanager who took the fun out of playing. His comments have created a firestorm of reaction in South Florida with the veteran running back about to become a free agent.
Taylor, the Dolphins legend now playing for the New York Jets, wouldn't refute those assertions when asked by morning host and former Dolphins tight end Joe Rose.
"The people want to get on players sometimes of speaking their minds and for saying things or being truthful," Taylor said. "People don't always want to hear that. But sometimes you've got to look at it and say 'Where there's smoke there's probably fire.'
"I think it's something you have to take a step back and look at and say 'Well, this isn't Ricky just being a cancer in the locker room.' ... Sometimes guys talk and you tend [to dismiss] them as just blowing a horn. But when someone like Ricky talks, I think you can understand that maybe there is something there for real."
Sparano appears to be in limbo. Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has not made any announcements that Sparano will return for a fourth year as head coach after a second straight 7-9 season and a 1-7 home record. The Dolphins reportedly have pursued Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh and former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher.
Taylor supported Williams' claim that Sparano can be oppressive. Taylor added he can appreciate those methods, but noted not all players respond to that.
"I played under Tony one year in that system and atmosphere, and it's tough," Taylor said. "What Ricky was saying is true in a lot of senses. It's a tough work environment.
"I think Tony does a good job of trying to touch every situation you may see in a game. But the micromanaging and things like that is exhausting , particularly when you're not winning."
Taylor later in the interview cast the Dolphins in a negative light when trying to describe how much fun it has been to play for Jets head coach Rex Ryan.
"It's a very positive work environment, opposite of what Ricky was talking about," Taylor said.
"You're so afraid to make a mistake you just don't have the chance to have success. It goes back to [the] old cliché: You can't steal second with your foot on first. You have to let people relax a little bit, have fun. You take the fun out of the game, then don't play anymore. It's not worth playing anymore. I think you border on taking the fun out of the game sometimes based on the atmosphere and the negative vibe and things are so tense.
"Teams take on the personality of the head coach -- good or bad. It may be a gradual thing where it takes time to get to that point, but they do eventually take on that personality. Sometimes it can be more destructive than it can be nurturing."