Taylor to Jets fans: 'I'm part of you'

Updated: April 22, 2010, 12:20 AM ET
By Jane McManus | ESPNNewYork.com

Jason Taylor made it clear at the start of this season that he wanted to be a Dolphin. When that didn't happen, he was glad Rex Ryan was there to offer him a spot, but there might have been a hint of resignation Wednesday afternoon when Taylor was introduced by the New York Jets -- particularly when he said his first time walking in the facility was like heading into "enemy territory."

"This is where I'm supposed to be right now," Taylor said Wednesday.

That said, Taylor will commit himself completely to the Jets, including the team's offseason training program. There had been some question about whether he would agree to that condition, but as talks with Miami publicly stalled, Taylor's leverage might have lessened.

Jets players will welcome Taylor. Calvin Pace said you could never have too many pass rushers. Darrelle Revis was asked earlier in the day at an NFL event in Central Park if he was concerned Taylor really wanted to be in Miami.

"No," Revis said. "As some of the leaders on this team, me being one of them, we'll make sure he's a Jet and he puts his all into it."

Given the highly contentious relationship between Taylor and Jets fans, there has been an unusually negative grassroots reaction to the addition. Some fans who might otherwise be happy to add a player with Taylor's résumé don't want to see him in green and white.

Taylor, 35, didn't exactly have an apology for those fans. He implied his past comments were part of the normal interaction between visiting players and fans.

"As far as the Jets fans are concerned, I'm part of you now and I'm doing my best to help them win a championship," Taylor said.

He is aware of critics who say he has lost too much to be an effective cog in the defense, and he adds that to a list he's kept throughout his career -- that he was too small, too distracted by Hollywood. All of it serves as motivation.

"The chips keep growing, that fire is still burning," he said. "Trust me, it's burning hot."

Jane McManus is a columnist for ESPNNewYork.com. You can follow her on Twitter.

Jane McManus has covered New York sports since 1998 and began covering football just before Brett Favre's stint with the Jets. Her work has appeared in Newsday, USA Today, The Journal News and The New York Times. Follow Jane on Twitter.

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