HEAD COACH TONY SPARANO (on Jason Taylor's transition to LB) * *
"I think he's done a pretty nice job. It's not an easy adjustment. It's an adjustment not everybody can make, but Jason's a very good pro. He's a very smart player and has done a nice job in the offseason program from a physical standpoint."
HEAD COACH TONY SPARANO (on the transition a defender goes through from playing with a hand down to standing up)
"A defender that's been down doesn't have anything to do with coverage, and I think that coverage responsibilities are the number one priority there. You can think of the position as just a rush position, but that would be the wrong thing to do. That player has a ton of coverage responsibilities in the defense, and I think that's the biggest transition. Also, playing on your feet from a footwork standpoint sounds easy, but it's not."
HEAD COACH TONY SPARANO (on QB-Chad Pennington's high completion percentage and ability to win) Wednesday, September 16, 2009
"He's a tremendous pro with players here in the building, with our offensive players, certainly. A guy who has a tremendous work ethic, completes a lot of footballs. The guy has been tested several times and he's pretty good under pressure, I think, that way. Just a really solid pro that is really good with his players."
HEAD COACH TONY SPARANO (on if he imagined how widely imitated the Wildcat offense would be when he introduced it last season)
"No, not really. To be honest with you, when we introduced it in the first week (at New England), there were a lot of people mocking it. Now, I think there are a lot of people trying to run it. So, I find that kind of interesting. I wasn't sure what it would be received as, one way or the other, really didn't care. I just was more worried about how we could find offense from our end and get the best players on the field we had, and it gave us the opportunity to get Ronnie (Brown) and Ricky (Williams) on the field."
HEAD COACH TONY SPARANO (on if the challenge with the Wildcat is keeping it fresh and introducing new stuff)
"I think so. I think that, and maybe we're on the other side now. Teams have had a whole offseason to go through and to cut up all of our plays that we ran last year in the Wildcat. So every week there's a little bit different picture. From our end, where initially it was hard for them to card the looks and to get the looks in practice, from our end it's hard to be sure what the adjustments will be from team to team."
HEAD COACH TONY SPARANO (on saying he would like to use QB-Pat White more)
"We don't have a bunch of stuff that we can do with him. One of the things that we want to make sure of is that Pat White is prepared to be a quarterback in this league. So, we certainly didn't want to bog him down with a whole lot of stuff."
HEAD COACH TONY SPARANO (on taking over a then-struggling team like Miami and turning things around)
"I think anytime you come into a situation like that, changing the culture is a hard thing to do. And we're not all the way there yet. I think we made a pretty good dent in it, but we're certainly not where we want to be with that. I think one of the things we had to do was evaluate the personnel in the building at the time, and I do mean in the building; I mean players, everybody in the building. So we needed to make sure that we did that. We went through it, and to be honest with you, there were 53 new faces last year, one way or the other. We had 53 different roster moves at different times during the course between Spring OTAs and during the season. There was a lot of turnover, and you had to be willing to accept the fact that the bottom of the roster was going change, not fall in love with a lot of players because we needed to be able to continue to move players and try to bring in the best players that we possibly could."
LB-JASON TAYLOR (on being happy to be back in Miami) Wednesday, September 16, 2009
"There's no place like home. It was a blessing for us to get a chance to come back here and have a chance to play here."
LB-JASON TAYLOR (on being switched to linebacker) Wednesday, September 16, 2009
"I think it's going pretty well. (Head) Coach (Tony Sparano) might have something different to say about it, but I feel pretty good about where I'm at right now. It's somewhat similar to some of the things I did back in 2005 and 2006 with Coach (Nick) Saban. It is different in its own way, because I'm playing over a tight end more now and seeing kind of pitches from a different side of the plate. The transition is not as drastic as it could have been. I still have a lot of work to do."
LB-JASON TAYLOR (on if he prefers playing with a hand down or standing up) Wednesday, September 16, 2009
"I'm getting more used to playing in a two-point stance now coming out, particularly in pass-rush situations. In year's past, I was always in a three-point, or really a four-point over my career. I think I'm still more comfortable in the three or four-point. I've done it for so long. I feel more explosive. I feel a little better coming out of it, but what we like to do down here is play out of a two-point, and that's the 3-4 system, and I need to learn how to create that same explosion and quickness out of the two-point. It's a work in progress. At times I catch myself wanting to inch down and get back into a three-point, but I'm working on it."
LB-JASON TAYLOR (on if he learned anything while he was away from Miami) Wednesday, September 16, 2009
"Number one, it made me realize even more how much I loved Miami, both being here and playing here and how much this organization means to me. I missed it a lot last year. It was definitely a transition. It was difficult to have my family here, my kids in school here, my wife here with the kids and me being away. But there are tons of players that do it around the league and it's something you have to adapt to and make work. I'm just glad I was able to get back home."
LB-JASON TAYLOR (on what Coach Sparano and Executive Vice President of Football Operations Bill Parcells brought to the program) Wednesday, September 16, 2009
"I think, number one, stability. They garner instant respect when they walk into the building, especially Coach Parcells and the success he's had in this league. As far as Coach Sparano, he has everything you want in a head coach and more. I've seen a bunch of them, unfortunately, I've seen a lot of coaches down here. Coach Sparano is so detailed, almost to the point where it's nit-picky. He covers everything. He leaves no stone unturned. He's going to have you prepared. Like all the coaches I've had down here, we work hard, we bang it out, it's very physical and demanding, but at the end of the day, I think we're so prepared now. Having a chance to sit back and watch it through mini-camps, training camp, and now the first week of the season, even though we lost the game, you can still see that based on last year and what I've seen already this team and this organization is headed in the right direction for a long time."
LB-JASON TAYLOR (on Coach Sparano being a player's coach) Wednesday, September 16, 2009
"He is. I think your team takes on the personality of your head coach, good, bad or indifferent. They are going to take on that personality. Everyone does it in different ways. Coach (Tony) Dungy always did it a different way, and Coach Parcells did it a certain way, and Tony's going to do it his way, too. But we do enjoy playing for him. He is a player's coach in a lot of ways. He's not going to make it easy for you, that's not what you want. As a player, you really don't want a guy that's going to just make it easy for you and not be demanding or hard on you. He is all those things, but at the end of the day, he prepares you, and he rallies you to the point where you'll run through a brick wall for him and always have his back."
LB-JASON TAYLOR (on the Indianapolis Colts' offense) Wednesday, September 16, 2009
"Well, we know where it all starts and that's with Peyton (Manning). He's one of the best in the league, has been for a long time, and I think he will continue to be, just because of all the different things he brings to the table. It seems like every year he gets a year older, and he gets even better than he was the previous year. We ran the tape real quick of this past game, and while things have changed around him, coaching-wise and player-wise, he still hasn't changed who he is. He does a very, very good job of managing the game, putting his team in the perfect play or the right play more times than not, and with all the pre-snap reading that he does, he does a great job of diagnosing what defenses are wanting to do and giving his team a chance to be successful. Then, he has players around him, too. Reggie Wayne, quietly I think, is one of the best receivers in the league by far and sometimes gets overlooked unfortunately for him. (Tight end) Dallas Clark is one of the tops in the league, and the offensive line plays well for him. (Jeff) Saturday has been a staple forever. He's been around almost as long as I have. They definitely have talent. Unfortunately, they had a guy get nicked up this week (in WR-Anthony Gonzalez), but they'll be alright."
LB-JASON TAYLOR (on how he would describe his role as leader of the defense) Wednesday, September 16, 2009
"This is the Dolphins defense. It's no one person … My role in this team, I think, is no different than it was before I left, help develop these young guys, come ready to play, and one thing I've always tried to do, in making plays or whatever it is, make people around me better, try to make guys around me be more successful, whether it be by drawing attention or by doing my job and enabling them to do their job, whatever it is. That's what I look to do everyday on the practice field and every game, lead by example, and when there are things that need to be said or issues that come up, I've been around long enough to see a lot of things and relay that information to people."
LB-JASON TAYLOR (on being the active sack leader in the league) Wednesday, September 16, 2009
"It means you're old. I guess you could call it cool. It's an honor, because you've been around long enough and you've made a good bit of plays to be at that number. There's a lot of guys in this league who have sacks…It is cool, but I'm not done yet, hopefully. At some point, I won't be the active leading guy, and until then, I'm going to enjoy it."
LB-JASON TAYLOR (on how many times he's sacked QB-Peyton Manning) Wednesday, September 16, 2009
"I don't know. I've gotten him a few times, but he's gotten me a bunch, too. He was in the division for awhile, so we had some good battles."
LB-JASON TAYLOR (on playing on Monday Night Football) Wednesday, September 16, 2009
"The football games, whenever they're played, night, day, Sunday, Monday, Thursday, they never get old. To me, this is one of the greatest jobs in the world, and the older you get, the longer you're in the league, the more you realize you need to cherish these moments and enjoy them because they will come to an end at some point. We never know when that is. I've been blessed to be able to play in this league for 13 years now. So, game day never ever gets old. It's why we do what we do. It's why you work in the offseason. It's why you go through training camp. It's why you work, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and walkthrough on Saturday, just to get to the games on Sunday. That's the culmination of all your hard work and your frustrations and your efforts, to go out there for three hours and have fun."