Camp buzz — July 21, 2008
The buzz on day two of training camp was the arrival of Jason Taylor. It seems that just about everyone had something to say about the acquisition of the Pro Bowl defensive end.
Because of an apparent feud developing between him and Bill Parcells at Miami, it seems more than apparent that Taylor is very happy to be a Redskin. “I am very excited to be a Washington Redskin,” he said. “It has been a whirlwind the last 24 hours. Between getting the phone call and my family being in Dallas and having to come back to Miami before I flew here it has been tiring. I am very happy about the prospects of playing for the Washington Redskins.”
As soon as news came down about the trade, many were concerned that it was not a good one because Taylor had said that he only intended to play one more year. Since the trade, however, it seems that he has changed his mind. “I made a statement in June that I planned to play one more year and take it from there. But I have told Dan Snyder, Vinnie Cerrato and Coach Zorn that I am on board and will play out my contract. I will be here for more than one year.”
As for Parcells, Taylor said that the speculation that there was some kind of problem developing between the two were unfounded. “That is what speculation does sometimes. People start talking about a certain situation and when neither party addresses it, people start coming up with their own theories as to what is happening. I was in Los Angeles and Bill Parcells was in Miami and wanted to do things a bit different. That train got rolling, gained some steam, and got a little out of control. When we both addressed the situation we said that there was no problem and I was being honest.”
It appears that Taylor will be playing left defensive end. For most of his career he has played on the right side of the line. He does not foresee this as being a problem. “I have been on the left side in years past,” he said. “I was born and bred in this league as a right end up until three or four years ago when Nick Saban came to Miami and started moving me around. While it will be different than what I have done for the majority of my career, I have done plenty of it and had success. I will have to adjust my game, and we will find a way to do it, but it will take some work.”
The coach who will be most effected by the introduction of Jason Taylor into the Redskins defense is defensive coordinator Greg Blache. There is a lot about Taylor that Blache appears to admire. “His tenacity. He has a great motor and plays the game with a passion,” he said. “He goes one hundred percent. he has toughness. He is a total football player that plays the run and rushes the passer. He will be a good addition because he fits the type of guy we look for here. He has the MO of a real nasty guy that plays the game for sixty minutes.”
He is certainly looking forward to watching Taylor and Andre Carter playing together. “It is going to create some problems on offense,” he said. “One compliments the other and I think that it will be a new dimension for us. It is one that we are excited about and we are looking forward to working on.”
Of course, the one player who may be most benefited by the presence of Jason Taylor on the defensive line is Andre Carter. He believes that there will be a good rush from just the four lineman as a result. “That will open things up as far as having the four man rush,” he said. “Throughout the end of the season they (opposing teams) were doing a lot of two-man protection with the tackle and me. Having Jason Taylor on the other side will open things up for the both of us, as well as the tackle. Somebody is going to come free and have one-on-one opportunities versus the pass.”
As things progress, Carter may have to move over to the left side of the line to accommodate Taylor playing on the right side. He doesn’t see that as a problem. “If that happens, then that would probably be the coach’s call,” he said. “I played left side in the past, even though it has been a few years. It is better to learn now than have to later during the season. I am just optimistic about it.”
I believe that the presence of both Carter and Taylor on the defensive line could come close to being equivalent of having Dexter Manley and Charles Mann when they anchored the Redskins D line. One can’t help but anticipate the prospects.