Is this just a guy trying to help his team win or someone trying to toot his own horn that should shut-up and play the position he's paid for?
Jason Taylor wants role to play on offense
By Alex Marvez
Posted February 12 2005
Dolphins defensive end Jason Taylor wants to get offensive -- literally.
Taylor said Friday that he will petition new coach Nick Saban for a situational role on offense next season.
"I'm working on Coach Saban and the offensive staff because I want to get some plays in," Taylor said by telephone after a practice for Sunday's Pro Bowl in Hawaii. "I'm going to keep lobbying for it, so I'm letting guys put it in the [newspaper].
"[New England's] Mike Vrabel and Richard Seymour do some things on offense, and [Oakland's] Warren Sapp does a dance when he gets in the end zone. I know I can be a great tight end and contribute to some fun things."
The use of defensive players in select offensive roles, especially near the goal line, was popularized in recent seasons by Patriots coach Bill Belichick. Vrabel, one of New England's starting outside linebackers, had a touchdown catch for the second consecutive Super Bowl in last Sunday's 24-21 victory over Philadelphia.
The 6-foot-6 Taylor, who played tight end in high school, could be an attractive end-zone target because of his size. But the desire to score touchdowns rather than prevent them isn't based solely on personal goals.
"I'm not just doing it because it would be fun and neat but because I think it would help us win games, like what a lot of the other [defensive] guys do," Taylor said. "I would cover and return punts if I could, too."
Taylor's desire to get back on a winning track was piqued Thursday in Hawaii when he had dinner with three members of New England's championship team -- Tom Brady, Tedy Bruschi and Larry Izzo -- as well as Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning.
Taylor admits he is struggling to leave behind memories of the 4-12 campaign in 2004.
"Sometimes, I'll lay in bed at night thinking about plays where I could have made a difference," Taylor said. "I'm still beating myself up a little bit."
Taylor said he is optimistic that Saban will be able to lead a Dolphins turnaround but also admits to wondering about his long-term future with the franchise. Although he had a team-high 9.5 sacks last season and is under contract through 2009, Taylor will turn 31 in September, and Saban is expected to begin a youth movement this offseason. Already, cornerback Patrick Surtain was given permission to seek a trade.
"I hope it works out, but when I spoke with Nick, he did not go that in-depth about who was going to be here," Taylor said. "I think I'm going to be here, but we've got to see how a lot of things are going to go, like what type of scheme are we going to play defensively? But I'm excited about the future. I've learned to cherish these years because time is running out."
Taylor suffered a dislocated right shoulder in the season finale against Baltimore but decided to play in the Pro Bowl despite not having done any weightlifting or serious training since the injury. Taylor said he will wear a harness for protection in Sunday's game.
"I look at it like if I was picked to go, I feel an obligation to go out and perform," he said