Chat with Lawrence Taylor
Taylor, the 1986 MVP, was a member of the NFL's 75th Anniversary team.
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, Pro Football Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor stops by to chat about the upcoming NFL season, as well as ESPN's "Madden Legends Week Powered by EA Sports Arena" here at ESPN. Madden 13 hit stores on Tuesday.
Taylor revolutionized the linebacker position and retired as the NFL's all-time sack leader with 132.5. He currently sits tied for ninth. The UNC product earned his spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 1999 as a 10-time Pro Bowl player and a two-time Super Bowl champion.
Send your questions now and join Taylor Thursday at 1 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (12:51 PM)
NFL great Lawrence Taylor will be here to take your questions at the top of the hour!
Parcells always seemed grumpy on the sidelines....did you guys ever get him to laugh? What did you do?
Lawrence Taylor (1:03 PM)
No. Bill is actually a pretty funny guy. He enjoys life just like everybody else. On the football field, on the sidelines, he's a great coach to play for. You know what you're going to get with him. If you're doing it right, he'll let you know, if you're doing it wrong, he'll let you know.
Were video games ever big among you or your teammates when you were playing? Seems like all of today's players play video games.
Lawrence Taylor (1:03 PM)
Not back when I was playing. The big game was Tecmo Bowl. If you remember Tecmo Bowl, you had to vibrate the table to get people to move.
With all of the penalties surrounding hard hits, do you think you could have been as effective as you were during your career playing under these rules?
Lawrence Taylor (1:04 PM)
The game of football is still the same. You still have to run, hit, throw. I don't think hits are the problem. I think I could have played. The money is more, the athletes are bigger, but you still have to hit to play this game.
David (San Diego)
What did you think when EA Sports wanted to include you in their newest game?
Lawrence Taylor (1:05 PM)
I thought it was cool. That's an honor to myself to be included, but I like the fact that the younger guys, people who didn't see my play, can now play as me in the game. I'm interested in seeing how I stack up against the modern day player.
We all know the Giants and Cowboys are rivals, but just how nasty are those games?
Lawrence Taylor (1:06 PM)
Dallas was always America's Team. I think a lot of people, no matter where they played secretly would have loved to be a Cowboy. I know I would have. Those are games that you have to win because that's how you measure yourself. The Cowboys, throughout the year are that strong. You can measure how you fit in the league based on how you play against the Cowboys, especially with our rivalry.
Bill Belichick was an understudy to Bill Parcells. Was he there with your Giants teams? What are your memories of Belichick back then?
Lawrence Taylor (1:08 PM)
Bill, as a matter of fact when I first came into the league, he was an assistant special teams coach. Then he went to special teams coach. When Parcells became head coach, Bill moved to LB coach. Believe it or not, Belichick, even during our early years, was always the brain behind our defense. Personality wise, it's hard to take, but as far as knowing X's and O's and knowing the game, no one is better.
Rich (New Jersey)
Hi Lawrence, You had the greatest success against the Philadelphia Eagles, which team gave you the hardest time? And what do you think the chances of the Giants repeating as Super Bowl champions this year?
Lawrence Taylor (1:09 PM)
I would say back in those days we would have to look at teams like San Francisco with Bill Walsh. The way he got those guys to move the football and they kept you off balance where you didn't know what was coming. It might be 3 and 1 and it was an end around. He kept you off balance where the first 20 plays you don't know what's happening. That's a game you can't get a handle on until later on when they start rerunning plays. They would have to be, mentally, the hardest team to play.
What pass rushers impress you the most in the NFL today?
Lawrence Taylor (1:10 PM)
There are a lot of guys out there. Pierre-Paul, I like his game. I like DeMarcus Ware. He's a guy that doesn't look pretty doing it, but he can get to the QB. Along with the entire front defensive line of the Giants. I like those guys.
What is your favorite moment while in the NFL?
Lawrence Taylor (1:11 PM)
Hmmmm...I don't know about a favorite moment, but when we beat the Redskins in '86 in the NFC Championship game in Giants Stadium. To see all of the confetti and all of the stuff that came down. It looked like we were in a parade. That was probably our favorite moment in the league. We had finally done it as a team. It was a great moment to know that everything we did paid off.
Do you still have the acting bug? I loved the bit parts you played in movies.
Lawrence Taylor (1:12 PM)
Not really. Not unless I'm going to play an old man. I can do that pretty well right now.
It seems like Coach Parcells would be an easy guy to get mad....did you ever do anything to purposely get him upset just to see him blow his stack?
Lawrence Taylor (1:13 PM)
Really, we had a respect for each other. As mad as Bill would get, I wouldn't really pay any attention to him. All we had to do was win in Sunday, and then it was all forgotten.
what do you think of the bounty system in New Orleans?
Lawrence Taylor (1:14 PM)
I think the word that people get caught up on is bounty. There has always been incentives for big hits, caused fumbles, interceptions, plays over 20 yards, ever since the game was invented. We did it in college. No one has gond to deliberately injure somebody. But you get paid to hit. It's just part of playing defense.
How good do you think your Giants teams would do in today's NFL?
Lawrence Taylor (1:15 PM)
I think our '86 team could matchup with anybody in the NFL. I really do. I think our 1990 team would matchup well, but not as well as our '86 team. Our '86 team would have been champions in any era.
I'm curious to see what you think about the Cowboys recently giving Dez Bryant a set of rules that he has to live by or face punishment. Do you think that's necessary?
Lawrence Taylor (1:16 PM)
I know if it was given to me I would have to find a new job.
Mr. Taylor, are you a big Madden player and if so, what team do you usually like to use?
Lawrence Taylor (1:17 PM)
I'm not a big player. I'm still back in the caveman days. I'm still learning how to text. But my kids and grandkids, they're just crazy about stuff like that. They love it to death. My son and grandkids told me to not leave ESPN without picking up some games.
Jake (Baltimore MD)
Who do you thinkis the greatest LB of all time? I think Ray Lewis is, do you?
Lawrence Taylor (1:18 PM)
There are a lot of LBs I like. I think you can put Dick Butkus in there. You can put Ray Lewis. Mike Singletary. Ray Nietchske. Of course I can put myself in there too. Different people have different styles and we do certain things well. Who's the best is not for me to say, that's for someone else to say. I don't consider anyone the best, I just think we all do a lot of things well.
How will Peyton Hold up against this tough schedule.
Lawrence Taylor (1:19 PM)
I think Manning will do well. He's on a team where he can, defensively, they'll do things well. He's the type of guy that will be able to put 17, 21 points on the board. If you can do that consistently, with the defense they have, that's going to really really help their team. I think he will do well. They will protect him. He's not the type of QB that's looking to run. He's a smart guy. If he couldn't do the job, he wouldn't be out there.
How has the game changed since you played?
Lawrence Taylor (1:20 PM)
I think nowadays you have better athletes playing, especially on defense. The speed of the game has picked up.
LT, what do you think of all of the rules the NFL has put in place to create more of an offensive game in today's NFL?
Lawrence Taylor (1:21 PM)
As a defensive player, you don't want to see that, because it's nullifying the defense. I don't like seeing it. I think they're trying to protect a lot of players, too many people. The game is a physical sport. Now all of a sudden it's become basketball. You can't touch anybody or it's a foul.
Do you have any lingering physical effects from your days as a player?
Lawrence Taylor (1:22 PM)
I have a sore wallet. That's about it. Healthwise, I'm pretty good. I'm pretty good.
A lot of people think you are the greatest Defensive Player of all time? How does that make you feel? Also, if you took care of yourself like Ray Lewis does, how much better would you have been?
Lawrence Taylor (1:23 PM)
That's always going to be exciting to hear. I am appreciative. In my mind, the greatest defensive players are Reggie White and Deacon Jones.
Lawrence Taylor (1:23 PM)
Thank you. It's been a pleasure playing this game. Thanks for remembering me and the accolades.