You may ask, "MPF, why dost thou adorn this Patriots blog with an image of Sir Jason Taylor?" Many reasons. a) He NARROWLY became a Patriot, b) he gives Tom Brady and Matt Light fits, c) he's a class act, and d) he's quite the dancer. Seriously, I wrote during the off-season that I thought Jason Taylor belonged in Miami. That's where his family is from, he's an active member of his community, and he deserves to retire where he spent most of his career. This is what Taylor recently had to say:
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- You all saw Jason Taylor racing down the field for a 48-yard touchdown off a fumble recovery today, a pivotal play in an important AFC East game.
Now imagine Taylor doing that in Patriot colors. It almost happened after Taylor was cut by the Redskins during the offseason.
"We talked with them, with the organization, and with Bill (Belichick)," Taylor told the Globe. "My heart was in Miami, my family was in Miami, so it was important for me to try to stay there. But if it didn’t work out in Miami, then I probably would’ve been there."
Belichick has an interesting way of recruiting free agents. I can picture the guy, with a little notebook, writing down the names of players that give him fits. Jason Taylor is one of them. He's a perennial thorn in Matt Light's backside while the offensive lineman works to protect Tom Brady's blindside. When Taylor left the division for the Washington Redskins, Brady and Light were practically jumping for joy:
FOXBOROUGH, Mass.--Tom Brady said he was ecstatic to see pass-rushing defensive end Jason Taylor traded out of the AFC East, from the Miami Dolphins to the Washington Redskins.
"I think [Patriots left tackle Matt] Light and I popped a cold beer when we saw that transaction," the quarterback said here today. "We were the two happiest guys in the NFL.... We were hugging each other."
Now they're cracking a cold one saying, "Oh boy..." But Taylor isn't all we have to worry about. The Dolphins have become league experts at the Wildcat. Other teams have tried it, including New England, but Miami seems to have the personnel to make it happen. It's not a trick. It's not a play. It's an offensive scheme that forces defenses to prepare for it. Why it's so troublesome could be the fact that so many plays can be run out of it. Or, it's essentially putting a "QB" in the backfield who can run his butt off. At any rate, Belichick had this to say:
The thing is, no matter how effective or ineffective the Wildcat is on Sundays, opposing defenses must devote significant time to prepare for its subtleties. The Patriots will need to decide how much take time out of their normal preparation to account for the Wildcat.
"That’s always a tough decision," Belichick said. The Dolphins’ use of the Wildcat "varies from game to game. It’s not always used in the same percentages. The better it’s going, the more you’re going to see it. There’s other times where they make you spend time defending it and don’t use it all that much. The most important thing is that we’re sound on it and we’re prepared for it, so if we get it, we at least know how to play it and the different thing that come out of it."
Remember when Miami unleashed the Wildcat in Week 3 of the 2008 season? I do. I was there and was promptly banned by Marima and JohnHannahRules from attending another game (must've thought I was bad luck). I have since redeemed myself after attending the 2009 MNF season opener against the Bills. At this point, there's an enormous amount of film on it, but the Patriots still have to spend time preparing for it or risk getting caught flat footed.
There's much more to chat about, but that'll come in due time. We have a division rival to prepare for, one that has kindly dispatched the Jets twice. I was a Phins fan for both those games because I think Rex Ryan is a pompous loudmouth who makes excuses when he loses and rubs peoples noses in it when he wins. The definition of classless. At any rate, we have some football to talk about with our friends at The Phinsider. BOOM BABY!!