CANTON, Ohio (WSVN) — Former Miami Dolphins player Jason Taylor will enter an exclusive club this weekend, one for which his peers said he was “Taylor made.”
The former defensive end and linebacker was on hand for a Hall of Fame game pitting the Arizona Cardinals against the Dallas Cowboys in Canton, Ohio, Thursday night. As of 11 p.m., the Cowboys were leading the Cardinals 20-18.
7News cameras captured taylor as he autographed a young fan’s football helmet while his daughter stood near him.
For Taylor, it’s a trip down memory lane. “Those are some of the things you miss: the guys, the roar of the crowd,” he said. ‘”I still love hearing the cheers.”
When asked if she now thinks her father is cool, Taylor’s daughter replied, “Yes. He was always cool.”
“That’s my girl. I pay her well to say that, trust me,” said Taylor.
Photos of Taylor and the rest of the Class of 2017 were on display everywhere in the Hall of Fame, from large banners hanging outside, to photos inside the venue. The inductees’ busts will be out on display on Saturday.
In a video interview released by the Miami Dolphins, Taylor reminisced on his career with the man who drafted him, coach Jimmy Johnson. “I never would have thought. You didn’t think it either in ’97,” Taylor told Johnson.
“Well, probably not,” replied Johnson. “I knew you had a long way to go.”
Taylor has chosen Johnson to present him for induction.
But 20 years ago, and for a moment, Taylor thought Johnson was trying to root him out. “In training camp, like five days in the camp, I called my mom. I said, “I don’t think this NFL thing’s for me,’ ’cause you were killing us,” Taylor said to Johnson.
“Well, I had to make you better,” Johnson said.
Taylor said his mother then gave him another option. “She said, ‘Well, that’s fine, baby. You wanted
to be there in the NFL, you worked your butt off to get there, but if you don’t want to do it, you can join the military,'” he said.
Taylor paid a different kind of attention, and this weekend, coach and player will get to do it together again. “I told people, ‘Not only is Jason Taylor a great player. He’s smart, he’s coachable and extremely competitive,'” said Johnson. “Everything that you look for as a coach, and I’m very proud of you, very happy for you.”
Taylor will receive his Hall of Fame jacket on Friday. A dinner will be held in the inductees’ honor that night.
On Saturday, a parade will take place, followed by the enshrinement ceremony later that night, starting at 7 p.m.
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