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What they're saying about Jason Taylor

7/22/2008

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

Jason Taylor broke Michael Irvin's single offseason news conference record Monday afternoon in Ashburn, Va. Counting his work on ABC's "Dancing With the Stars," I have Taylor down for seven news conferences since the end of the 2007 season. Unfortunately, Steve Guttenberg was unable to attend due to a prior commitment.

Taylor was gracious to mention how his heart went out to Redskins defensive end Phillip Daniels, whose season ended because of a knee injury Sunday. But it's Daniels' injury that allowed Taylor to escape an awkward situation in Miami. The good folks on the Redskins' crack PR staff, which had some major turnover during the offseason, were kind enough to forward several transcripts following today's news conference. Here are some excerpts that I've selected followed by my editorial comments:

Head coach Jim Zorn: "The tragedy that happened on the first day of training camp has turned out to make for a very special day today. Unfortunately we lost two fine football players in defensive ends Phillip Daniels and Alex Buzbee, and I was stuck thinking about what I should say after my first day of training camp.

"As the late afternoon and early evening wore on, we got a hold of the Miami Dolphins and earned the opportunity to have the right to have Jason Taylor. It is due to Vinny Cerrato and Daniel Snyder taking the risks and once again being aggressive. The same type of aggressiveness that was shown during the draft also took place yesterday afternoon."

  • First of all, the Redskins have far too much experience with what the word "tragedy" means. What happened to Daniels was unfortunate, but it was not a tragedy. That said, Zorn is wise to praise his employers in a public setting. It's something I'm considering.

Jason Taylor: "I was ready to play football in Miami. I was not disgusted to go and play football for the Miami Dolphins. I was ready to go. We had five more days, so I was not quite ready to jump into training camp, but everything accelerated in the last 24 hours, which is fine."

  • He definitely took the high road regarding his long goodbye with the Dolphins, but saying you wouldn't be "disgusted" to play somewhere is a pretty half-hearted sentiment.

Phillip Daniels: "It was great to hear that [Taylor] was coming in here and helping us out. He is a great pass rusher and was the NFL Player of the Year a couple of years ago. For him to be sitting out there was perfect, really. If I had to have anybody to come take my place I would want a guy like him who is proven and has done some great things in this league. He can get us to the Super Bowl. I told the guys, 'Don't feel sorry for me. The one thing you can do for me is get us to the Super Bowl and win it and I will be happy.'"

  • Pretty refreshing to read something like that after watching how Jeremy Shockey handled his situation with New York. It's likely that Daniels will never play again, but you get the sense that he would still take a lot of pride in being on a team that had some playoff success.