Yeah, go ahead, call him a “pretty boy.” Miami Dolphins defensive end Jason Taylor won’t shed you a tear. He admits it; he is a pretty boy. He will tackle and knock you clean off your cleats. He will sack you and toss you like a piece of meat. Then, he’ll tear his helmet off, smile at the cameras, and throw back a glass of milk as a bunch of kids rush him.
In contemporary terms, Taylor is the Obi-Wan Kenobi of the NFL. The guy is calm and collected—he doesn’t look particularly vicious. Then, when you least expect it, he’ll slice you in half without breaking a sweat, and look good while doing it.
Taylor may have risen to popularity after Sports Illustrated named him one of the top ten sexiest athletes in 2001; however, he was already making headlines in South Florida, recording 14.5 sacks in 2000 (second on the Dolphins behind Trace Armstrong’s 16.5). In 2001, Taylor led the team with nine, and in 2002, he led the NFL with 18.5 sacks. With a total of 81.5, Taylor is the Dolphins’ career sack leader and ranks fourth among active players. Compare that last number with the fact that entering the 2005 season Taylor had started in 82 straight games, a streak which dates back to 1999.
Taylor is relentless. In Week One of the new season, he capped the Dolphins’ 34-10 romp over the Denver Broncos by sacking Denver quarterback Jake Plummer, forcing him to fumble, then running that fumble back 85 yards for a touchdown—the longest in Dolphins history.
He may look like a fashion model, but, to his opponents, this guy’s a monster.
“It’s a cool position to be in, to have people look at you as one of the best in the game; it’s a cool feeling,” said Taylor in his deep baritone voice. “You’ve got to have passion for what you’re doing and enjoy it and love it. Then, you’ll be successful. However, success can be broken down in many levels. Success might be small; it’s different things for different people.”