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Opening-Day Starter? Taylor’s Ready to Roll

Posted by Randy Lange on August 29, 2010 – 1:40 pm

Jason Taylor does “bemused” well. And you’d have to forgive the venerable linebacker a bemused smile or two when the questions came at him immediately after the Jets’ game against Washington on Friday night.

“This won’t be my first rodeo,” Taylor said with a smile.

The questions were regarding the state of the Jets without OLB Calvin Pace for a few weeks. Pace injured his foot against the Redskins and will miss “a few weeks,” said Rex Ryan. The head coach is expected to provide an update on Pace’s situation on a conference call with reporters this afternoon.

But if the prognosis remains the same, the upshot is that Taylor, whom many saw as a situational — read: pass-rushing — addition when the Jets signed him as an unrestricted free agent, may well be an NFL opening-day starter for the 12th consecutive season and the 13th in his 14 seasons as a pro.

“You want to play. Obviously, it’s very unfortunate that something happened to Calvin,” Taylor said. “It’s my job to step up and help. Do I think i can do it? Yeah, that’s what I do.”

That’s what he did last season, when he returned from the ‘Skins to the Dolphins and started at the strong OLB spot for Matt Roth, who missed the first half of the season with a groin injury.

“From the beginning of training camp, I started at a spot I never played before. That’s a lot more new than what we’re doing now.”

Taylor said he’s more at ease now in the Jets’ scheme than he’s been since he got here, which you would expect.

“There’s a couple of plays, a couple of calls where you’ve got to stop and think real quick or check with BT or Calvin on what we have,” he said. “But it’s probably down to one or two calls I do that with.

“So yeah, I feel good. I’m feeling comfortable and confident mentally, and the physical will always fall on the mental.”

Will there be a dropoff for the Jets if Pace misses much time? Could be, especially because Pace told my partner Eric Allen the other day that he’s fired up and focused on 10-plus sacks this season. But Taylor looks plenty good so far as well. JT knows starts — he’s got 192 in 13 previous NFL regular seasons — and he knows sacks — he’s got 127.5, most among active players.

And let’s not forget Jamaal Westerman, whose time it may be to take on an increased workload, the workload, in fact, that Taylor was going to get in the base rotation with Pace and Bryan Thomas and in the sub front line.

Taylor even showed the old-pro part of his mental game when asked about what the Jets need to do team-wise to be ready for their Sept. 13 season opener against the Ravens. He didn’t shy away from making some observations on the offense, but he knows his unit and the team are most important.

“We need to take care of the ball better as a team, No. 1 — you can’t win in this league turning the ball over. It’s darn near impossible,” he said. “We need to play a little better defense in certain situations, not giving up third downs. I think the first group did a pretty good job at times, but they still got some first downs and a couple passes against us. And I think offensively, we want to put more points on the board. They’re working on that. But we need to mow our own grass on the defensive side and get ourselves ready to go.”

No mowing necessary at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Blake Hoerr and his grounds crew do a great job of that. And none required on the New Meadowlands Stadium FieldTurf. But for a short while, Taylor will be in the starting lineup as the defense plans to cut down opposing offenses without Calvin Pace.

Update, 2:45 p.m.: Rex Ryan on his just concluded conference call with reporters said Pace suffered what he believed was a broken bone in Pace’s foot and will need surgery. He said Pace is in North Carolina now to have a specialist “take care of it.” Rex: “We’ll know more about the extent of the injury obviously after the surgery. We’re feeling good that it could be a speedy recovery but anytime you have surgery, we don’t have the specifics. But he’s definitely going to miss the first game, I think that’s pretty safe to say.”


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Posted in Randy Lange | 21 Comments »


21 Responses to “Opening-Day Starter? Taylor’s Ready to Roll”

  1. By BloodGreen!!!!! on Aug 29, 2010 | Reply

    Taylor is one of the better outside linebackers in the nfl even though he is in the latter part of his career, Calvins presence on defense will be missed but Taylor is more than capable of stuffing the run and dropping back in coverage and getting to the ball. The first defense will hold up as it has all last year and the offense will come around once Schotty opens up the playbook for the regular season. I expect at least 10 wins!!!! Go JETS!!!!!

  2. By scjoe on Aug 29, 2010 | Reply

    I am not a huge J Taylor fan, but I feel he is more then capable of filling in for Pace, along with Westerman. I think the much bigger concerns are #1 the offense, or lack there of, #2-the back up QB position, #3 the depth at the RB position, remembering LTs age and Greene’s injury history, and McKight’s inconsistency. #4 Revis return, no matter what our personal feelings are of his holdout, he will be missed. #5- The kicking game, both punting and KOs. Including the place kicking. #6 The LG position, both Slauson and Ducasse scare me over there. So with that being said I for one am not that concerned with the “possibility” of Pace missing a game or even two.

  3. By Jets Fan Since '64 Tom on Aug 29, 2010 | Reply

    scjoe, I think those are all real concerns, nicely summed up. I’m not as worried about Slauson, though, he’s looked pretty good and again, other teams start rookies and do well enough sometimes, it’s high time we had a little more guts in that department. That goes for Wilson at corner, too, it’s too bad Revis has forced us into that but Rex didn’t draft the guy just to return punts. What I think some of these injuries and iffy performances prove without a doubt is that we can’t afford to get so wrapped up in one player’s outsized salary (and ego). Like I said in the spring at the start of Revis’ grumbling, that mentality is for teams that lose so much that all fans can do is root for a favorite player or two — teams like the current Raiders.

  4. By Jets Fan Since '64 Tom on Aug 29, 2010 | Reply

    Which is to say, scjoe, that despite getting into the Tampa Bay game for a minute last year, Slauson’s pretty much a rookie.

  5. By BloodGreen!!!!! on Aug 29, 2010 | Reply

    I hear u on all of those concerns. I for one still believe that LT will be the LT of the past if he can stay healthy. He will be a check down option on third downs and also a threat running the ball. McKnight has to get himself together cuz some days he looks like he belongs in highschool and some days he resembles a pro running back. Everything is about practice. I also believe that the LG spot should go to Slauson simply because his got a year of experience in the O line system. Ducasse will grow into the position and should develop into a fine Guard in a season or too. Again practice makes perfect. U have to remmember that the Jets didn’t game plan for any of the preseason games but I do agree that Mark needs to make better reads out there especially in the red zone. Too many Int’s and not enough TD. I belive the offfense will be fine once the playbook opens up for the regular season.

  6. By Jeff B. on Aug 29, 2010 | Reply

    Out of those 6 concerns I only feel the same about a couple scjoe. One is the QB situation, but you have to realize I don’t think they’ve really opened up the playbook much or gameplanned so I think that we’ll be ok with Sanchez, Brunell, and whoever is at 3. Revis needs to come back soon. He takes a lot of pressure off the rest of the defense and they’ll throw at Cromartie which I think will be a good thing eventually (Turnovers). Chauncey Washington showed he can play some in the preseason, so he’s a pretty solid #3 RB. I feel good about the kickers except for that wack point after. Slauson seems to be doing well and I would assume probably Turner would come in at 2 before Ducasse but we’ll see.

  7. By commentman on Aug 29, 2010 | Reply

    @scjoe, dont worry about the Revis situation, he wants his money and he knows that if he dosent play this year he’s not getting the money he wants, also he will loose his commercials cuz im pretty sure that dicks sporting goods dosent want someone that dosent play to do their commercials, so in my eyes he has to come back

  8. By TONY GARCIA on Aug 29, 2010 | Reply

    its preason some teams do great then fall on thier face. i will agree our offense does not seem to be klicking on all cylinders.sanchez is throwing with more velocity but has made some of the same mistales.its a long season 10 wins will be good 11 great our divission has a’lot potential.go jets.

  9. By joe'swilly on Aug 29, 2010 | Reply

    Forget the defense, that part of the team will be very good. We need an offense! We should trade for a quality veteran QB just in case of injury or Sanchez does not make major improvements in the next few weeks.

  10. By Peter on Aug 30, 2010 | Reply

    Before the preseason is even over, Jets fans are already jumping ship based on the performance of this team.

    Not signing Revis is a complete insult to us Jets fans. All the acquisitions this team has made are completely worthless without Revis on the field, and this season becomes a wash.

    Can they win without him? Maybe, but they are a much better team with him on the field.

    After watching Sanchez perform miserably in the preseason, and seeing Calvin Pace out for the next 4-6 weeks, this team needs a spark. More importantly, we fans need a reason to believe again. SIGN REVIS NOW!!! For the sake of the fans and our sanity, get this deal done, and give us a reason to hope again.

    DO IT NOW!!!!

  11. By GaryC on Aug 30, 2010 | Reply

    So lets get this, revis is at home counting his money, jets management is counting the fans money and the jet fan seems to be going through another year without the Super Bowl.So if jets live by revis contract you will have a malcontent for three more years because he isn’t the highest paid corner.that means a locker room with split factions and doom lurking in every corner.why a trade sending him out a month ago was not advisable I don’t know.you will have a rookie corner all of five foot ten going against Moss, Marshall.

  12. By Jets Fan Since '64 Tom on Aug 30, 2010 | Reply

    Peter, we’re not going anywhere with the mindset that without Revis we can’t win, Troy just talked about what a loser mentality that is on the Scott story. I think GaryC’s much closer to the truth with his point about three years of a malcontent. If Revis shows up today, he’s still prevented us from using Wilson at the nickel slot and as a punt returner, prevented us from using Lowery at S, and basically wasted the entire pre-season for our secondary. I can’t imagine how some of the defensive and ST players must really feel about that and the impact of it can’t be good. What’s more, at this point our biggest problems are on offense, so I don’t think signing Revis, nice as it would be in terms of pure skill, would be the spark we need. And don’t be surprised if Revis is never quite welcomed back to the team by some players or fans even if he does sign and ends up getting traded in a year or two anyway.

  13. By Kaya on Aug 30, 2010 | Reply

    Let’s just relax here. This only preseason and already everyone has big concerns? The defense looks ready to roll and the offense will be fine. THe preseaon has never been a great indicator to how the regular season will shape up. A good example are the Colts – They never have good preseasons but when the regular season starts they are the winniest team in history. So just relax. Believe in Rex, if he’s not worried why shoudl we?

  14. By scjoe on Aug 30, 2010 | Reply

    Some of you agree with my concerns listed above, some do not agree with all of them. The kicking game, especially the punting, is often taken for granted. It should not be. I believe with what the offense has been showing this late into the preseason, field position, especially the first part of the season is going to be a huge factor, a punter who is normally in the 33-34 yd avg, per punt is going to be a problem. It is just hard for me to believe there are not any other options out there. At least bring in a few other punters to push Weatherford a little more then he has been. I would advise all of my fellow Jet fans to keep an eye on this situation at least for the first part of the season and see if my concerns about both the kicker and punter has any merit. I would gladly eat some crow if they both turn in pro bowl years. Stay tuned!

  15. By Clarke W. Griswald on Aug 30, 2010 | Reply

    Remember the ’08 Lions, undefeated pre-season 0-16 regular season. I’m gonna make a prediction, Sanchez doubles his touchdowns and throws 20-24, he’s gonna throw 16 intos and throw around 3200 yds.

  16. By Clarke W. Griswald on Aug 30, 2010 | Reply

    We haven’t had a good punter in a while. Punting is huge, takes pressure off the D, I for some reason, don’t think there is anybody else. As for Folk i’m willing to give him a shot, kickers have bad years and spring back, i’m sure Jay Feely has missed huge kicks.

  17. By Jets Fan Since '64 Tom on Aug 30, 2010 | Reply

    Like I just said on the Scott story, Clarke, Feely missed that 43-yarder against the Colts, which was huge.

  18. By JOHN AVVENTO on Aug 30, 2010 | Reply

    SOMEONE EXPLAIN 2 ME WHY JAMAL WESTERMAN IS NOT GETTING HIS SHOT HERE? THE JETS WERE ABLE TO GET THROUGH THOSE 4 GAMES LAST SEASON WITHOUT PACE BECAUSE OF THE PLAY OF REVIS JENKINS AND THE MIDDLE BACKERS, BUT WESTERMAN IS EVERY BIT AS GIFTED PHYSICALLY AS BRYAN TAYLOR(STILL WAITING FOR HIM TO MAKE A BIG PLAY AND RECORD A BIG SACK), HE YOUNGER AND QUICKER. QUITE HONESTLY, HE’S MORE EXPLOSIVE AT THE POINT OF ATTACK. THOMAS TOTALED ABOUT 80 TACKLES AND 1 SACK PLAYING OUTSIDE IN A REX RYAN DEFENSE. IF U PLAY THAT MANY SNAPS FOR RYAN AND U RECORD 1 SACK, THAT’S REALLY A CASE OF UNDERPERFORMING. HOW DO U NOT LUCK INTO ABOUT 4 OR 5? HE’S DEAD WOOD. LET WESTERMAN PLAY PACES SPOT FOR THE MONTH AND USE TAYLOR THE WAY THEY HAD IT PLANNED FROM THE GET GO.

  19. By JOHN AVVENTO on Aug 30, 2010 | Reply

    RYANS ONE MORE DRAFT AWAY FROM TRULY MOLDING THIS TEAM AND ESPECIALLY THE DEFENSE INTO HIS UNIT. THEY NEED TO GRAB SOME MORE OUTSIDE PASS RUSH HELP, WHICH IS WHY I THOUGHT KOA MISI WOULD BE A NICE PICK IN ROUND 2, ESPECIALLY SINCE THEY WENT THE PROJECT ROUTE WITH THAT PICK ANYWAY(DUCASSE) BUT FOR AN OLINEMAN. I WAS ONE GUY WHO WAS BELLY ACHING OVER THE KYLE WILSON PICK, NOT BECAUSE I DID NOT LIKE HIS PLAY AND HIS SKILLS, BECAUSE TRUTH BE TOLD, I WAS VERY IMPRESSED WITH HIM. HOWEVER, I FIGURE WITH CROMARTIE PLAYING OPPOSITE REVIS(BOY WAS I AN IDIOT) AND WITH LOWERY AS A NICKEL BACK, THEY WOULD BE FINE IN THE SECONDARY. I REALLY WANTED THE KID HUGHES OUT OF TCU. HE WOULD BE A 10 SACK LB THIS SEASON IN THIS DEFENSE,EVEN AS A SITUATIONAL/PART TIME RUSHER. MUCH LIKE CLAY MATHEWS WAS 4 THE PACK LAST YEAR.

  20. By Row on Aug 31, 2010 | Reply

    This position will truly make or break this defense. We could go more to a 4-3 or a Nickel and give lowery more time, resting the LB’s. It think it provides the most benefit. Last year we blitzed a lot, but had very few sacks, I believe in the bottom of the league. Things need to change. I’m excited for JT. I would like to see him perform. Go Jets.
    Revis will miss at least the first 4 games.

  21. By scott from delaware on Sep 4, 2010 | Reply

    when will revis be back?

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