- John Clayton, NFL senior writer
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Jason Taylor became one of the top pass-rushers in football by developing his footwork against blockers. Now, he's ready to take his game to a different level on a different platform.
Taylor was officially announced Monday night as the NFL's first active player to be a participant in ABC's Dancing With the Stars. Jerry Rice was the first former NFL player to be a contestant. Former Cowboy Emmitt Smith followed.
Taylor informed the Dolphins Monday that he was going to compete on the intense network show starting in March. He will compete a couple times a week and is optimistic of his chances to be one of the finalists.
The interesting twist to Taylor's involvement is that he opens the door for current athletes to participate. Offseason programs start in March to prepare for the NFL season. The dancing requires intense physical conditioning, which is one of Taylor's strong suits.
Dancing With The Stars will be an interesting training session for Taylor, the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year in 2006 and one of the game's most recognizable faces.
Taylor won't be the only athlete participating. Tennis player Monica Seles and figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi will also take part.
They join television personality Adam Carolla, international film star Cristian de la Fuente, actress Shannon Elizabeth, actor Steve Guttenberg, R&B singer Mario, actress Marlee Matlin, illusionist Penn Jillette, actress Priscilla Presley and actress Marissa Jaret Winokur.
Senior writer John Clayton covers the NFL for ESPN.com.