ASHBURN, Va. -- When defensive end Jason Taylor gets to Washington -- and it might be as early as Monday -- he can thank the team's executive vice president of football operations, Vinny Cerrato, for doing what Taylor could not.
Namely, getting him away from Bill Parcells.
|The Redskins are getting more than just a pretty face; they are getting a sack machine. (US Presswire)|
I know, I know, Taylor once suggested he might not play beyond this season. But that was before he got away from Parcells, and, trust me, it's subject to revision. Veterans like playing in Washington (Deion Sanders, Bruce Smith, Darrell Green, you name it), and the team's 4-3 defense fits Taylor's considerable skills more than Miami's 3-4.
Plus, I'm guessing the guy has something to prove. In fact, I'm sure of it after talking with Taylor's agent, Gary Wichard.
"Jason's always said he would play in 2008, then take it one year at a time," Wichard said Sunday night.
Taylor is expected in Washington soon -- probably late afternoon or Monday night -- and the timing is perfect. He takes the place of starting defensive end Phillips Daniels, who tore his ACL in the Redskins' first workout on Sunday and is lost for the season.
In fact, it was Daniels' injury that prompted Cerrato to swing into action and explore a trade for Taylor. Within hours of the setback, he not only made the Dolphins an offer; he made them an offer they wouldn't refuse -- throwing in a sixth-rounder in 2010 to clinch it.
"I think everyone did very well," Wichard said. "Vinny did a great job, as he always does, of focusing on what he had to do and acting to do it."
Though Taylor turns 34 this season, he remains one of the game's top defensive ends. Over the last eight seasons he averaged 12.5 sacks a year, with a career-best 18.5 in 2002, and he was the league's Defensive Player of the Year as recently as 2006.
So he had 11 sacks last season, his fewest since 2004. He also led the team and ranked seventh in the AFC -- and he did it with a doormat that won one lousy game.
So don't tell me he's walking the last fairway.