Jason Taylor was emotional Friday on the eve of his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame: “This is crazy that I’m here. It’s magic and miracles and the kind of stuff you say when people think something can’t happen.”
He was realistic about Saturday’s enshrinement speech: “I’m going to cry. There’s no doubt about it. I cried giving a toast with my family [Friday night]. Talking with some of the guys, Larry Little told me not to cry, that he didn’t cry. I said, ‘Larry, it’s going to happen.’”
He was appreciative of being a new member: “To be sitting in the room for lunch with the other Hall of Famers, you’re looking around the room and say, ‘What am I doing here?’ It was like lunch in the locker room. We ate and everyone told storie — it was like a locker room. There was a time for rookies to shut up, like a locker room. Listening to the stories, laughing a bit. They all welcomed us in their own way. Just like the good ol’ days. It was a lot of fun.”
He was funny when asked if his is the prettiest bust: “No, I don’t have the most handsome bust. ? Go ask [fellow inductee and Denver running back] Terrell Davis. Of course he has a more handsome bust than me.”
One thing Taylor wasn’t yet is done with his speech for Saturday night. At least not completely. He was still typing little notes stories in his phone to make minor changes.
“When I get back to the hotel, then I’ll finish it,” he said
He has been so busy these past couple days in Canton, Ohio, that he wasn’t fully up to speed on the ’ quarterback situation and ’s injury. He knew Tannehill was hurt. Backup texted Taylor congratulations on Friday morning.
“I’ve been a little self-consumed the last few days,” he said. “I knew [Tannehill] went down. Got a text form Matt Moore [Friday] morning. I guess Matt’s in the first huddle. I said, ‘Stop texting me and go watch some film.’”
Taylor was with his new team in the Hall of Fame on Friday. Joe Greene, the former defensive tackle Taylor watched as a youth, told him how as an Arizona coach he wanted to draft Taylor but, “] beat him to it,” Taylor said.
Charles Haley, the former and defensive end, joked about Taylor’s 240-pound build, saying he was too small to be a NFL defensive end. Haley then asked for Taylor to autograph a helmet.
“I said, ‘Why do you want my autograph?’” Taylor said. “I was too shy to ask anyone for their autograph.”
Former Cowboys and thanked Taylor for getting Johnson — the former coach in Miami and Dallas — . It is Johnson’s first trip despite having a dozen former players in the Hall.
Several of Taylor’s former Dolphins teammates will be here, from Tim Bowen to Todd Wade. One who won’t: , who is the brother of Taylor’s former wife, Katina.
Taylor did see Dolphins fans Friday in Canton. Many wore his No. 99 jersey. He noticed.
“No matter how bad we were, you know we’d go into Buffalo, Seattle, wherever, and they’d be there for you,” Taylor said. “I thought some would be here. That’s why we love them.”
Taylor noted he’s missing a couple of St. Thomas Aquinas High School’s football practices for these festivities. The first-year St. Thomas assistant coach said he expects to have to run some laps for missing practice. He has a plan, though.
“I’ll wear my gold jacket,” he said of the coat Hall members are presented with.
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