Honor Roll member has been on the field working with the team’s defensive linemen.
Jason Taylor admits it was “a little different” to step onto the practice field at the Doctors Hospital Training Facility at Nova Southeastern University as a coach.
That didn’t mean the longtime Dolphins defensive standout didn’t enjoy the experience of serving as a guest coach for an OTA practice.
“It’s a little different; you have to wear different color shorts and shirts than the players,” Taylor said during Fins Weekend. “You get a little heat for that from former teammates, but it’s been a good time, being around the guys. I love the game of football. It’s been great to me and I enjoy it, I love learning it and being student of it. It’s fun to try to relay some of that information to the other guys.”
Taylor was on the field for the Dolphins’ first OTA of the spring the day after Memorial Day, working with the team’s defensive linemen.
Given Taylor’s tremendous credentials, the players welcomed his presence. Defensive tackle and former teammate Randy Starks, though, couldn’t resist taking a friendly shot.
“He’s going to help some of the young guys with their pass rush,” Starks told The Finsiders. “But I told him there’s no way you’re going to help somebody in the run game.”
To be sure, rushing the passer was Taylor’s forte during a brilliant 15-year career that included six Pro Bowl invitations and three All-Pro nods.
Perhaps not surprisingly, providing pass-rushing tips is what Taylor enjoyed most about working with the Dolphins this spring.
“Having a chance to work with the pass rushers, that’s the best part,” Taylor said. “I’m not real big on the staff meetings and putting together game plans and all that stuff right now, at this particular stage, but being on the grass and getting a chance to help out guys like Dion (Jordan) and see Cam (Wake) again and work with Cam a little bit, even as a player when guys are coming in and helping us out, there’s always a certain nugget of information you can take and try to apply to your game.
“While everybody has their own particular styles — Cam always rushed different than I did, Dion is going to rush different than Cam or OV (Olivier Vernon) — it’s finding what works for each player and trying to find a counter for those kinds of things and learning how to break down the game a little bit so you can make plays before the ball is even snapped, so to speak.”
Jordan, the Dolphins’ first-round pick in 2013, seemed to stand the benefit the most from Taylor’s tutelage.
As has been pointed out, there are similarities between the two players, starting with their physical dimensions. Jordan has also experience dating back to his college days playing both defensive end and linebacker, something JT did with the Dolphins.
Jordan also impressed Taylor with his willingness to learn.
“Dion is bigger than me,” Taylor said. “I think he’s more athletic than I am. He’s going to be stronger. He had the shoulder deal last year and he’s feeling a lot better this year. He’s so willing to learn. Anything I tell him or say to him or suggest or try to show him, he’s like a sponge.
“The thing is he’s so athletic that he’s on all the special teams, so Coach Rizzi (special teams coach Darren Rizzi) takes him all the time during practice, so you don’t get a whole lot of time to work with him right now. But the times that I do get to work with him, it’s been a lot of fun and it’s fun to see him be receptive and being open to taking it. Not every player is open to getting coached and he very much is.”
Taylor made a smooth transition into television after his playing career ended following the 2011 season, and his insight and knowledge of the game have served him well.
But when it comes to projections and predictions for the Dolphins and the rest of the NFL for the upcoming season, Taylor says it’s too early for that.
“Look, I’m on the media side of it, too, so everyone wants to put together the list and who’s going to win the AFC East and who’s going to do this and that,” he said. “Look, it’s June, it’s still a pajama party. There’s no pads on, everyone is running around in shorts and T-shirts, so it’s just too early for those things.”Video link to the interview:http://www.miamidolphins.com/news/artic ... 0ba978a4fa