Jason Taylor: Football Can "Suck It"
Alright, so maybe JT didn't exactly say that. But you have to imagine that's what Bill Parcells is thinking upon the announcement that Jason will be taking part in a charity golf event in Iowa on May 28. Now, sure, it's for charity. And that's a great thing and always has been one of the great things about Taylor. He's always looking to take part in charity events or give back to the community.
But, at some point, doesn't Taylor actually have to show up in Davie and become an active part of this football team again? As it stands now, Taylor is committed to Dancing With the Stars until he either wins or is eliminated. Should Jason reach the finals of the competition (if you want to call it that), then he'll be in Los Angeles until May 20. This golf commitment of his is on May 28. In between, on May 21 to be exact, the next rounds of OTAs (organized team activities) begin in Davie. So though it's likely Taylor makes it to the facility for those, he obviously doesn't plan on sticking around.
Now sure, Taylor is a great, great player. And you can't expect any veteran player to be around all the time during the off-season. But, damn, shouldn't the supposed leader of the team be around a little bit more than most vets? And isn't his presence even more important now since this franchise is going through changes, with new coaches and many, many new players? Taylor is the supposed "face of the franchise." But you know, he sure isn't acting like he wants that title.
Listen, I'm a huge fan of Taylor and respect him greatly. But enough is god damn enough. How are the young players on this team and the new faces on this team supposed to respect Taylor when he isn't even around? Here's my final thought on Taylor: If his mind, body, and soul isn't 100% into the game of football, then I don't want him around this team. Hopefully he gets all this extra crap out of his system by July when training camp rolls around. But right now, I'm just not convinced he still has the mindset to be an elite football player.
I hope I'm wrong.
TALKING LATE-ROUND RBs
There is a very good read in the Sun-Sentinel about the two backs that the Dolphins selected in the 6th round of the draft.
Former Toledo RB Jalen Parmele, though, is the one I'm personally more intrigued with. And the Sun-Sentinel reports that Parmele looked especially sharp, showing a "good burst off the line." About his running style and being teammates with Ricky and Ronnie, Parmele says:
"I tried to run like Ricky because he ran with power. I expect to learn from both of them and improve from them."
What impresses me more, though, about Parmele is his character and work ethic. You'll remember back on day 2 of the draft that GM Jeff Ireland said that they felt Parmele would be the team's 3rd RB this year. Jalen took that as motivation to work hard:
"That put pressure on me to prove I could be out there getting things done and to learn the offense as best and as fast as I can"
I love it when players, especially young players, put pressure on themselves. Most 6th round picks might not feel much pressure because their draft status just doesn't place any undo pressure on them. But Parmele knows that he has a roster spot within reach and I suspect he will earn that spot and be the 3rd back behind Ronnie and Ricky.
As for Lex Hilliard, he's got a good story too, bouncing back from a torn ACL his junior year. I suspect that his niche, though, would be as a fullback more so than as a halfback. That means he'll have to battle with Reagan Mauia and Boomer Grigsby for a roster spot.
And be sure cast your vote for who you think will be the starting QB in week one, located in the right sidebar.