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In 1997, Jason Taylor had just been drafted by Miami. He faced Brett Favre in the first preseason game of his career, and it was a moment he’ll never forget.
“It was right after Brett signed his contract to be the highest paid player in the NFL,” Taylor said. “It was my first sack, even though it didn’t count it was a preseason sack, I was obviously very fired up about that.”
He might have fewer opportunities to get another sack on the QB, who will turn 41 on Sunday. Taylor had been starting at linebacker due to Calvin Pace’s absence. Pace broke his foot in a preseason game but will return this week.
“I’m sure I’ll play less,” Taylor said. “He’s the starter at those position so he’ll get back in the rotation and I’ll go back to working with (Bryan Thomas) and Calvin in the rotation. I’m glad he’s back and healthy. He’s looking good.”
In the years since he joined the league, Taylor has watched plenty of film on Favre and has gotten to know his tendencies. He knows what Favre’s strengths are, and said he is a bit more durable than your average player.
“No quarterback likes to get hit,” Taylor said. “...Brett’s been around long enough he will stand there and take a hit.”
Taylor said that Favre is an unusually effective quarterback because he can throw angles that other QBs wouldn’t even attempt. The way he can hit a receiver throwing across his body, Taylor said there are no dead areas of the field, every part has to be defended.
“Playing against a guy like Brett is pretty stressful because you know the guys going to make every throw on the field,” Taylor said.
As to whether Favre has lost a step to age, or if he would be less impressive because of the tendinitis in his elbow that has limited Favre in Vikings practice.
“Trust me he has tendonitis in more places than his elbows,” Taylor said.
Taylor will have to endure a commemoration of the Jets win over Miami 10 years ago, dubbed the Monday Night Miracle, this Monday at the New Meadowlands. He said the game always seems to be on replay when he turns on the television late at night.
“It was a Monday Night Miracle up here and a nightmare in Miami,” Taylor said.
But to his credit, Taylor said that he’d still rather watch a replay of the painful game than an episode of “Jersey Shore.”