Miami Dolphins legend Jason Taylor announced his retirement yesterday, leaving Sunday's game against the New York Jets in Miami as his last game. You can watch the entire press conference by clicking the link above, or read the team provided transcript below:
(Opening statement)- "I guess I'll address what's already been out there today. After 15 years of doing this and 13 here in Miami unfortunately this will be my...unfortunately unfortunately, it's been a great run in some ways but this will be my last game as a Miami Dolphin and as a professional football player so I plan on looking forward to enjoying this week and soaking it all in for the next few days. Obviously we have a game left to play. There will be a time for thank yous and good-byes and all that. This is not the time. But I will say that this will be my last game as a NFL football player so I look forward to it."(On when he decided this would be his last game and if there was one deciding factor) - "The last few weeks I thought about it more. I talked to some people about it and kind of figured out this is the right move to make and this is the right time to do it. It's been a tough year unfortunately. We've had some good times. We've also had a lot of bad times this year too, tough times. This organization here in the near future is going to make some changes and I think part of those changes is needing to address some personnel positions. This is the right time for me to go ahead and go and allow this organization to grow and improve."(On what it means for the young guys to express the positive impact he had on them) - "I think as a player, as an athlete one of the most important things to you is the respect of your peers. You obviously want to play well, be liked and have fans and things like that but the guys within your locker room or within your league, your peers are very, very important to you. To hear guys say I had a positive impact on their career whether they're trying to be nice for the media or really being truthful it means a lot. I've been telling the last couple weeks is some of the guys have known that this was coming down the tracks that those are the things I will miss. I have tried to stay around a little longer, hang out a little more, get to know some of the younger guys in different ways and I will miss those guys each and every one of them."(On how frustrating it is for not to reach the team goal that he has played for in his 15 years) - "If there is one regret I have as an athlete for the last 15 years it's that I didn't get a chance to bring a championship to Miami and be part of that and help bring it to Miami. As a team game we all try to do our part and unfortunately it hasn't worked out. That's why you play this game. There's a lot of bi-products that come with playing this game. The fame, the money, all those kind of things but at the end of the day we all want to win. Unfortunately I never had the chance to do that. Obviously as my career comes to an end that's one thing like so many good players, great players haven't had a chance to do that and that's my one regret."(On the support and input he got from his family) - "The support has been great. The input has been kind of, you do what you want really. My wife has not pushed one way or the other. She was probably more surprised I think when I said this was it more than anything. My kids...the great thing is I have kids young enough to let them see me play. My sons, I've got a nine year old and seven year old son and a six year old daughter. While my daughter could probably careless my two boys it means a lot to them that their dad plays and it makes me cool to them. Hopefully three months from now I'm still a cool dad. Even though I won't be a player anymore hopefully I'll still be a cool dad."(On if there is any chance he gets the itch to come back next August and play) - "(laughing) I knew that would come up. Again I don't want to get into too much good-byes and thank yous and all this stuff and think about the future because we do have a game to play Sunday guys. But look Sunday is my last game. I am going to go ahead and walk away hopefully healthy, get through this next one, this last one, preferably win the game and sail off in the sunset for a while. I'm not going to even leave the door open for that stuff. As a matter of fact I may change my cell phone number so they can't get me."(On his last game versus a team like the New York Jets) - "There is a lot of coincidences I guess. It's great to end at home. It's great to have a chance to walk away and do it in front of your home crowd in a city that means a lot to you against an opponent that you've had a tremendous history against. I want to win. I want to win the game. I don't want to win the game so I can say I won my last game. This is not about Jason Taylor and my career and all that stuff. It's not about that. There's guy in this locker room that are fighting for jobs, fighting for their futures, auditioning for their next jobs, trying to improve and grow their game and their career so I'm just a small piece of this team train. I'm going to do my part Sunday to help win this thing. Obviously the Jets are the opponent. I'd like to beat them and go from there. There's a lot of coincidence in all that stuff. People talk about it but at the end of the day I just want to win." (On what you're going to do after football) - "I look forward to the future and what it would hold. Don't know for sure what that will be. There's a few irons in the fire so to speak and we'll address those things down the road and not that you guys would care a whole lot (laughing). I'll address that with my family and agent down the road and for now again I really want to stress that this is not about me while there may be hoopla through the week and all that. That is very humbling and appreciative. I appreciate it. This is about this team trying to win one more ball game. And they'll kick ole 99 out the door and move on to the next one so I'll find something to do. Might take some time, but I'll find it."(On talking to others about walking away from the game, how do you think you'll handle it) - "Yeah, I talked to a lot of guys about it and I think a lot of the guys had the same thing to say in some ways and others have had things that they've gone into that they enjoyed. That they've grown. That they've found something to fulfill that competitive itch, nothing is going to replace playing professional football. Nothing, you can't find it on the golf course. You won't be able to find it anywhere and I understand that. When the lights go out, the fame is a little different, the money is a little different, the competitions a little different. For the last 15 years, I've been part of a fraternity really. There's no place like a NFL locker room. I know you guys get to see it on a limited basis throughout the week, but there's no place like a locker room. And those guys kind of become like your family for a better part of six, seven months of the year. You won't replace that, but I'll find something else. I got young kids that'll keep me busy and a lot of hobbies, and a lot of things going on. So I've been blessed to be put myself in a situation that I won't have to worry so much about finding something to do. I'll do something that I love to do."(On if you talked to Zach Thomas) -"Yeah, I talked to Zach (Thomas) a lot. I talked to him last night. Unfortunately, Zach, it was a little different for Zach. As hard headed as he is, he would love to still be playing and I think you'll have to drag him out the door as they had to really."