Taylor introduced in Washington, split with Dolphins amicable
The six-time Pro Bowl defensive end clashed with the Miami Dolphins, the team he'd been with for all of his 11 NFL seasons, as he participated in the television show "Dancing With the Stars" rather than working out with the team this offseason.
Taylor got a new start when he was traded to the Redskins on Sunday for a second-round pick in 2009 and a sixth-round choice in 2010. He flew in Monday afternoon, took a physical and was officially introduced at a 6 p.m. press conference.
"We have not talked about anything besides football," Taylor said of his discussions with the Redskins. "There's no dancing, unless we're celebrating a big play."
The trade for Taylor came after the Redskins lost starting defensive end Phillip Daniels with a season-ending left knee injury Sunday on the first day of training camp.
"You ever heard of this thing, Christmas in July?" Washington middle linebacker London Fletcher said. "I definitely thought it was Christmas in July for us to be able to add a player of his caliber to our football team. It just energized us."
Taylor, the 2006 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, had 11 sacks last season. Andre Carter, who will pair with Taylor on the other side of the Redskins' defensive line, led Washington with 10½ sacks.
"Bringing in Jason Taylor is a blessing," Carter said. "It'll add another dimension to the defensive line, it'll allow us to stop the run and get after the passer. So having him on the other side of the line is a great deal."
No one in Washington seemed concerned about the controversy surrounding Taylor this offseason in Miami. The 33-year-old feuded with the Dolphins' new management, led by executive vice president of football operations Bill Parcells.
At one point this offseason, Taylor said he was unhappy at the lack of communication he'd had with Parcells and new general manager Jeff Ireland, and in mid-May Miami coach Tony Sparano announced Taylor was not expected to take part in any team activities through training camp, and there was talk of a possible trade for Taylor throughout the offseason.
Taylor said he felt coverage of the rift had been blown out of proportion.
"That train started rolling and got some steam and I think got a little out of control," Taylor said.
Taylor said his departure from Miami was amicable.
"It is for me," Taylor said. "I think people are a little disappointed in that. I think they want strife or some bickering back or forth, and that's just not what it is."
As far as the Redskins players are concerned, the important thing about Taylor is not the off-the-field events of the offseason but what one of the league's top defensive players will bring to the Washington defense.
"A guy like Jason Taylor, you have to know where he is on the field at all times," offensive lineman Jon Jansen said. "Because if you don't, your quarterback's going to get hurt."
Taylor has started 130 consecutive games, and his 114 career sacks are 14th all-time.
"Our pass rush has improved dramatically with a Pro Bowl player like Jason," Redskins coach Jim Zorn said.
Injuries led to Taylor joining the Redskins, a chain of events he called a "whirlwind." Daniels' injury came in the morning, and the trade for Taylor was announced Sunday evening.
Taylor said he learned the trade was final at 6:15 p.m. Sunday, when he received a call from Redskins owner Daniel Snyder and executive vice president Vinny Cerrato. Earlier in the day, Taylor had been at the Dolphins training camp facility preparing his locker and equipment for Miami's camp, which opens July 25.
Taylor's wife, Katina, and their three children were in Dallas this weekend visiting her brother, Zach Thomas -- Taylor's former teammate with the Dolphins. Thomas was released by Miami in February and signed with the Cowboys.
Snyder sent a plane to bring Taylor's family from Dallas to Miami this morning, where Taylor met them before boarding the plane bound for the Redskins' facility in Virginia.
"I've been getting poked and prodded," Taylor said. "This is all new to me. I haven't had a physical like that since the combine."
After the press conference, Taylor left to join his new teammates for a 7:30 p.m. team meeting. He was expected to practice with the team for the first time Tuesday morning.
"We're just going to jump right in," Zorn said. "We'll get him right in the team meeting, introduce him and then start like he's one of our guys."
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press