Jason Taylor, Sam Madison bullish on Dolphins’ chances with Ryan Tannehill at QB

Former Dolphin Jason Taylor speaks at Pierson Park in Wellington, Florida on July 17, 2018. The Western Communities Football League is hosting the WCFL Tackle Football Showcase July 17th – 19th at the WCFL Football Fields in Pierson Park, Wellington. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

WELLINGTON – Make sure not to count former Dolphins cornerback Sam Madison among those who think the Miami Dolphins would be wise to part ways with quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

“Ryan’s always been on the same page with Coach Gase since he’s been here,” said Madison, a four-time Pro Bowler with the Dolphins from 1997-2005. “No matter what offensive coordinator (he has), Ryan Tannehill has picked up the offense faster than everybody else. Now, it seems and should be that everyone is on the same page because they’ve been in the system a couple years.”

Tannehill, who turns 30 on July 27, missed all of last season after tearing his ACL in training camp. A first-round draft pick in 2012, Tannehill led the Dolphins to an 8-5 record in 13 games two seasons ago, completing a career-high 67.1 percent of his passes for 2,995 yards, 19 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

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The Dolphins have yet to win a playoff game in Tannehill’s tenure, however, and some fans continue to call for a change at the quarterback position.

Dolphins Hall of Fame defensive end Jason Taylor, whose retirement in Jan. 2012 predated Tannehill’s drafting by three months, also expressed optimism in what the former Texas A&M star can do this season.

“If you can keep him healthy, we’re one year removed from being a playoff team,” Taylor said. “I think they’re in good shape and the next month (will tell) a big story. If you can get out of training camp into September in one piece, you’re set.”

Former Dolphin Jason Taylor (center) watches at Pierson Park in Wellington, Florida on July 17, 2018. The Western Communities Football League is hosting the WCFL Tackle Football Showcase July 17th – 19th at the WCFL Football Fields in Pierson Park, Wellington. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

Taylor and Madison, now coaches at St. Thomas Aquinas High in Fort Lauderdale, are serving as guest coaches this week at the Western Communities Football Tackle Football Showcase at Wellington’s Pierson Park.

[RELATED: Former Dolphins Taylor, Madison stress safety at youth football camp]

Whatever Tannehill does this season will be without two of his biggest weapons from 2016, as running back Jay Ajayi was traded to Philadelphia last October and the Dolphins sent Pro Bowl wide receiver Jarvis Landry to Cleveland in March. Landry posted a career-high 112 catches and nine touchdowns last season without Tannehill, but he failed to crack the 1,000-yard mark.

Miami signed former New England Patriots wideout Danny Amendola and Chiefs receiver Albert Wilson this offseason. Former Miami Hurricanes running back Frank Gore also signed with the team and will partner with Kenyan Drake for a 1-2 punch in the backfield.

“Yes, we added a couple new pieces, but they can learn on the fly,” Madison said. “As long as the major key points to this football team are in place, ready to go, and everyone can play extremely fast, you’ll see some playmaking ability out there.”

Sneak peek at the (sweet) Hall of Fame ring Jason Taylor will receive at Miami Dolphins game

The front of Jason Taylor’s ring from the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

DAVIE — The Pro Football Hall of Fame released photos Wednesday of the ring Jason Taylor will receive Sunday to mark his enshrinement into the Hall last summer.

Side view of Jason Taylor’s Hall of Fame ring.

The ring, which includes a likeness of Taylor on the side, was created by Kay Jewelers.

The inscription on the inside of the ring includes a drawing of the Hall of Fame, “2017” and “308,” because Taylor was the 308th player inducted.

Taylor will receive the ring at halftime of Sunday’s Broncos-Dolphins game at Hard Rock Stadium.

The Dolphins also are hosting a by-invitation party in Taylor’s honor Saturday night.

[RELATED: Dolphins should retire Jason Taylor’s No. 99 during Sunday’s ceremony]

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As Miami Dolphins honor Hall of Famer Jason Taylor, they should retire No. 99

Jason Taylor in a 2011 game for the Dolphins. (Allen Eyestone/The Post)

DAVIE — When Jason Taylor receives his ring Sunday to commemorate his enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, it will be easy to conclude that the most-decorated defensive player in team history has it all.

The ring will be a perfect match for the gold jacket he’ll be wearing. If Taylor likes, he can glance over his left shoulder and see his name on the Dolphins’ Honor Roll at Hard Rock Stadium. The organization also is throwing a party in his honor.

What more could the Dolphins do for him?

Glad you asked.

Although no one has worn Taylor’s No. 99 since his final season with the Dolphins in 2011, that number is fair game, at least officially.

So what the Dolphins should do, during the ring ceremony at halftime of the Dolphins-Broncos game, is have Stephen Ross or Jimmy Johnson (his presenter at the Hall of Fame) step up to Taylor, hand him a framed No. 99, and tell him that number is retired.

No one can say the Dolphins haven’t been kind to Taylor. They’re literally rolling out the red carpet this weekend, including a by-invitation party in his honor Saturday evening.

Retiring his number would be the pleasant surprise Dolphins fans could use these days. Remember how the Patriots flicked the Dolphins aside last weekend like a little brother? The most sacks Taylor recorded against any single quarterback was 11.5. The QB: Tom Brady.

Taylor had 139.5 sacks in 15 NFL seasons, won the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year Award in 2006 and the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award in 2007. He even pitched in during training camp, giving pointers to the Dolphins’ linemen.

Meaning: He has been exceptional both on the field and in the community, where the Jason Taylor Foundation continues tireless work on behalf of children.

That’s the thing about Taylor. He’s retired and he isn’t. Each week, the Dolphins put out a lengthy news release in advance of their upcoming game. Years after his last game, Taylor still appears in the release a dozen times, whether it’s comparing Cameron Wake’s sack pace to J.T.’s, John Denney’s longevity to J.T.’s, or Reshad Jones’ defensive touchdown rate to J.T.’s. Taylor is even there in Spanish: “Más touchdowns defensivos en la historia de los Dolphins.”

For an organization that embraces history like few others, the Dolphins have retired a tiny number of jerseys: 12, 13 and 39. (Hey, confused millennials, that’s Bob Griese, Dan Marino, Larry Csonka, in that order.)

That’s a small number, as it should be. Sunday, it should grow by one.

Jason Taylor was known for going all-out in his playing days. For making the biggest splash at the most opportune time.

Now, it’s the Dolphins’ turn.

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Miami Dolphins’ Jarvis Landry throws weight around vs. Mike Pouncey in name of charity

Dolphins Jarvis Landry (left) and Mike Pouncey (right) prepare to face off at Jason Taylor’s annual ping-pong charity event in Hollywood. (Hal Habib / The Palm Beach Post)

HOLLYWOOD — Is there such a thing as talking trash without saying a word?

Jarvis Landry appeared to do just that Monday night at “JT’s Ping-Pong Smash 14,” the 14th annual tournament hosted by Jason Taylor at Hard Rock Live at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

When the question came up over who’d win the featured showdown — Landry’s doubles team vs. Mike Pouncey’s — Landry simply sat back in his chair, crossed his arms with a paddle in hand and chilled as if he didn’t have a care in the world.

“We’ll see,” Pouncey said.

By night’s end, nearly $50,000 was raised for the foundations of the three men. Taylor said his recent induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame has helped his Jason Taylor Foundation, dedicated to South Florida’s youth.

[Click here for information on Mike Pouncey’s foundation]

“It’s helped us open a lot more doors, raise more money,” Taylor said. “It helps us charge more from our sponsors, which raises more money for the foundation. It’s really a platform to do good and reach out, be more accessible to more people. Listen, I’m the luckiest guy in the world to be able to do what I did for 15 years and go into the Hall of Fame and get out of this game pretty much healthy.”

The event attracted scores of past and present Dolphins including Jakeem Grant, John Denney, Sam Young, defending champion Kiko Alonso, Mike Hull, MarQueis Gray, Nat Moore, Joe Rose and Terry Kirby. The Heat’s Alonzo Mourning also participated.

Sitting between Landry and Pouncey, Taylor said, “I miss the game a little bit. I miss the paychecks a little bit. But I miss the guys like these two a lot. And that’s why bringing them around makes me feel whole again.”

Four active Dolphins made the playoffs: Grant, Denney, Landry and Alonso. Landry’s team was KO’d by a team led by Taylor’s son, Isaiah, and Alonso’s team was dethroned by the Palm Beach County duo of Steve Sadaka and Gary Nicklaus, Jack’s son.

And for the record, Landry’s team swept Pouncey’s in the prelims.

Also for the record, the duo of Dolphins beat writers Hal Habib of The Post and Adam H. Beasley of The Miami Herald were listed as losing to teams led by both Moore and Rose, but only due to a technicality in the system in which the teams with the most points were declared victorious.

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Miami Dolphins’ Jason Taylor helped make Falcons’ Dan Quinn the coach he is

    Falcons coach Dan Quinn was a Dolphins assistant from 2005-06. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)


DAVIE — Jason Taylor’s name doesn’t show up on the roster of the Dolphins’ all-time coaching staff.

Dan Quinn’s does.

But during their two years together in Davie starting in 2005, it wasn’t just Quinn teaching Taylor, but Taylor teaching Quinn.

Quinn fondly reflected on those days Wednesday during a conference call with the South Florida media ahead of Sunday’s Dolphins game in Atlanta against Quinn’s Falcons.

“It’s going to sound unusual, but I learned quite a bit from him,” Quinn said. “And I think players — accomplished ones, specifically — can teach a coach new things. … I got better as a coach from my time with him.”

Their bond was evident in August when Quinn was in the crowd in Canton, Ohio, as a guest of Taylor’s for his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

“When I got the invitation and I knew it matched up with a day off, that was my smallest way to let him know my gratitude and appreciation for the two years that I got to work with him,” Quinn said. “I love him. I love what he stood for as a competitor, as a ballplayer.”

One thing Quinn might not enjoy is seeing a similar defensive blueprint from the Dolphins on Sunday.

“They use the defensive ends in a variety of ways and they play a number of guys,” Quinn said. “The way they play that wide-nine technique, it’s reminiscent of those kind of days where J.T. would really be out on the edge of zones. So I appreciate that style. We play quite a bit of that as well on our system.”

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Miami Dolphins’ Jason Taylor on entering Hall: ‘I’m nervous as hell’

Jason Taylor addresses the media at the Hall of Fame on Friday afternoon. (Hal Habib / The Palm Beach Post)

CANTON, Ohio — Jason Taylor has two handkerchiefs ready to stuff in his pockets, because he knows one won’t be enough to sop up the mess he’ll turn into Saturday night.

He’s recovering from losing his voice last week but jokes that the closed-captioning folks should stand ready.

His phone is blowing up, but he hasn’t had time to check messages for two days.

“I pride myself on kind of being a cool, calm and collected guy and I’m OK in any situation,” Taylor said, “but I’m nervous as hell.”

This is what life is like when you’re entering the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Surreal? A few snapshots will tell you just how surreal these few days are for Taylor, the Dolphins’ third-round draft pick in 1997 who now owns a gold jacket:

• As a Western Pennsylvania guy, Taylor still finds himself staring when in the presence of Joe Namath. Friday, his childhood idol, Joe Greene, asked for Taylor’s autograph. When Charles Haley did, too, Taylor wondered “why the hell they want my autograph. I wanted theirs, but I was too shy to ask.”

• As President Donald Trump assembles his staff of U.S. ambassadors, he might want to consider Taylor, who by asking Jimmy Johnson to present him for induction helped broker peace in the football world. Johnson, who drafted Taylor, had never been to the Hall before Friday morning, when he came face to face with his friend/nemesis/who-knows-what Jerry Jones, who also is being inducted.

“I gave him a hug and we started talking,” Taylor said of Johnson. “He was a heckuva lot more popular in the room than I was. Everybody came in and was saying hi to Jimmy. Then Jerry came in and they shared a moment.”

• Taylor, 42, is having his own share of poignant moments. He cried while trying to make a toast at his family’s dinner Thursday night. He reflected on playing his college career at Akron, 20 minutes away, all the while never imaging being in this position.

“I thought I would have to pay to come in,” he said.

Taylor is planning for about 300 guests at his after-party that will stretch deep into Sunday morning at Akron’s football stadium. Supporters making the trip include current Dolphins Cameron Wake, Mike Pouncey and John Denney. An extremely notable absence will be ex-Dolphins linebacker Zach Thomas, whose sister, Katina, had been married to Taylor before their bitter divorce two years ago.

It would have been unthinkable during their playing days that Taylor would enter the Hall without Thomas being present. They entered the Dolphins’ Honor Roll together.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2017, from left: LaDainian Tomlinson, Morten Andersen, Jason Taylor, Kenny Easley, Jerry Jones, Terrell Davis, Kurt Warner. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

With 139 1/2 career sacks, a knack for game-winning plays and a style that forced Dolphins opponents to game-plan against him, Taylor’s entry into the Hall was a forgone conclusion. By going in on the first ballot, Taylor surprised himself, having wondered if he’s in the even-more-elite class of a Bruce Smith or a Reggie White.

“He’s in our class,” Smith said. “A phenomenal pass rusher.”

Smith, White and Taylor helped revolutionize the game in their own way. Taylor lasted until the 73rd overall pick. Who would want a defensive end who was a rail-thin 240 pounds?

“Nobody in the league wanted a tweener,” Taylor said. “Now they call them hybrids and everybody in the league wants hybrids and hybrids get a lot of money.”

Taylor celebrates a sack of the Houston Texans’ Matt Schaub in 2011. (Allen Eyestone/The Palm Beach Post)

Of course, when Taylor was first fitted for his gold jacket, it was too big.

“I had to get it tailored,” he said.

Even Friday, Haley kidded Taylor: “You can’t play D at that size.”

After Johnson, one of the early believers was Taylor’s agent, the late Gary Wichard, who told him when he was drafted he’d make the Hall.

“I was about to fire him for going insane,” Taylor said.

Taylor made 131 of his career sacks for the Dolphins, interrupted only in 2008 (when he was with Washington) and 2010 (the Jets) after the Dolphins made it clear they had lukewarm interest at best. Friday, Taylor regretted he couldn’t play his entire career in Miami even though he experienced his greatest team success in New York.

“I know Dolphin fans hate to hear that,” Taylor said. “I had a great year in New York. I got to the AFC Championship Game, was a couple of plays away from having a chance to play in the big game.”

Having never experienced a Super Bowl, Taylor will have to settle for the greatest individual accomplishment in professional football. He said he’s bringing into Canton every teammate who had an influence on him, or that he influenced.

“You never forget that journey,” he said. “It’s an improbable journey. It’s an impossible journey, really, I thought. Even as I’m sitting here now as a Hall of Famer, there’s a part of me that still says it was impossible for me to get here. But it’s worked out.

“Miracles happen, kids, folks, everybody out there. Miracles happen, because if I’m sitting here as a Hall of Famer, you can do anything in the world you want.”

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Tough guys? Miami Dolphins’ Jason Taylor warns Hall inductions may be ‘a big cryfest’

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2017, from left: LaDainian Tomlinson, Morten Andersen, Jason Taylor, Kenny Easley, Jerry Jones, Terrell Davis, Kurt Warner. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

DAVIE — There’s a scene early in Shawshank Redemption in which the inmates, including the Morgan Freeman character, place wagers on which of the newcomers will be the first to break down. A similar ritual takes place each summer at the Pro Football Hall of Fame, where men who already own gold jackets speculate on inductees most likely to lose it during their acceptance speech.

The Dolphins’ Jason Taylor has a message for them: Bet on all of the above.

The way Taylor sees it, come Aug. 5, it’s likely that every member of the Class of 2017 — himself included — will reveal himself to be a crybaby.

Taylor said earlier this summer, the Hall of Fame staff held a gathering with relatives of the Class of 2017 and honorees Jerry Jones, LaDainian Tomlinson, Morten Andersen, Terrell Davis, Kenny Easley and Kurt Warner.

“Every one of us, as we talked and reminisced and thanked, we were all bawlin’,” Taylor said Thursday. “It was like a big cryfest.”

That’s not all. Taylor conducted an interview with Jones and … “When he started crying, he made me cry,” Taylor said. “I’m like, ‘Why am I crying? Jerry’s the one talking.’

“Listen, it’s an emotional time. It’s a long journey for everyone that’s gotten there — everybody that’s already there, guys that will be there in the future. And for us, we all have different stories, but it’s interesting. The one thing you find on every path is the adversity and the hard times that made great people and great athletes into great players.”

So Taylor has warned fellow ex-Dolphins making the trip to Canton and eager to give him grief.

“They’ll be laughing at me crying, I’m sure,” Taylor said. “Sam Madison and those guys will get on me for crying but I already let ’em know, ‘Listen, it’s going to happen. I don’t want to hear it.’ ”

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Miami Dolphins’ Jason Taylor picks Jimmy Johnson as Hall of Fame presenter

Jason Taylor was enshrined in the Dolphins Honor Roll in 2012. Next stop: Canton. (Bill Ingram/Palm Beach Post)

Jimmy Johnson selected Jason Taylor in 1997, and now, Jason Taylor is selecting Jimmy Johnson.

Taylor tweeted Monday that Johnson will be his presenter at the Pro Football Hall of Fame ceremony on Aug. 5 in Canton, Ohio.

Johnson, then coaching the Dolphins, drafted Taylor with the 73rd overall pick in the third round in ’97.

Taylor called Johnson “the guy that believed in me from Day 1. He took a chance on an undersized defensive end and never looked back. He gave me the opportunity of a lifetime.”

Responding on Twitter, Johnson called Taylor “1 of the most talented players I ever recruited or coached..He made plays that WON games!”

Taylor made it clear on Twitter that it wasn’t an easy choice.

“From the moment I found out I was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, everybody’s been asking me the same question: Who’s going to be your presenter?” Taylor said. “I really took my time with this decision. But the more I thought about it, the same name always goes to the top of the list.”

Tickets for the Enshrinement Ceremony are $40, $55, $65, $75, $99 and $175. Premium seats are $90; club seats are $175. Tickets may be purchased at www.ProFootballHOF.com/tickets or by calling 844-4HOFTIX (844-446-3849).

Taylor will be honored along with Morten Andersen, Terrell Davis, Kenny Easley, Jerry Jones, LaDainian Tomlinson and Kurt Warner.

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Why Jason Taylor could be the best player Tom Brady ever played against

Dolphins defensive end Jason Taylor sacks New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady during the game on Oct. 7, 2001. (Damon Higgins/The Palm Beach Post)

Is Tom Brady the greatest NFL player ever?

He doesn’t think so.

In fact, he doesn’t even think he’s the best quarterback of all time.

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Asked recently by ESPN’s Ian O’Connor if, after claiming his fifth Super Bowl title this past season, Brady has taken that title from his idol growing up in the Bay Area, Joe Montana, the 39-year-old humbly said no.

“I don’t agree with that and I’ll tell you why. I know myself as a player. I’m really a product of what I’ve been around, who I was coached by, what I played against, in the era I played in.

“I really believe if a lot of people were in my shoes they could accomplish the same kinds of things.”

In the interview, Brady never actually disclosed who he thinks is the NFL’s GOAT, though he did mention a couple of options beyond Montana: Jim Brown, Lawrence Taylor, Peyton Manning, Dwight Freeney, Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Darrelle Revis, Deion Sanders and the Miami Dolphins’ soon-to-be Hall of Famer Jason Taylor.

The mention of the Fins great — not to mention the other defensive superstars — makes sense. Brady never lined up directly against Montana, Brown or Manning.

Jason Taylor on the other hand …

“The games against Jason are some of my most — well, maybe least — memorable,” Brady said in February when Taylor’s election to Canton was announced. “He is one of the greatest opponents I’ve ever faced, having had the ‘pleasure’ of looking across the line and seeing him on the opposite side of the ball, not once, but twice each season for a decade. While I entered the league with a healthy respect for Jason and the incredibly talented Miami defense he led, my admiration for him as a player and a person only continued to grow with each play; each game; each season.

“Coach Belichick and the rest of our staff have a reputation of game planning against a team’s strengths,” Brady continued. “Perhaps one of the biggest compliments I can pay to Jason is the amount of hours we spent watching film of him over the years and going over what we needed to do to neutralize him. I can’t say we ever came up with a great answer.”

He’s right. Seventh all-time in the NFL with 139.5, Taylor took Brady down 11.5 times over the years, second most of any defensive player. (Who’s No. 1? You’ll never guess.)

Brady went so far as to write a letter of recommendation to the Hall of Fame committee on Taylor’s behalf. Taylor was “floored” by Brady’s kind words.

“He and I had a great friendship throughout our playing days,” Taylor said of Brady. “Obviously, we played against each other a ton. I probably played 25 or 26 games against Tommy … maybe more, I don’t even know the number of games. We’ve always had this healthy rivalry between the two of us. We would go at it, compete hard and we were great friends off the field.”

— The Palm Beach Post’s Hal Habib contributed to this story

Tickets to see Miami Dolphins’ Jason Taylor enter Hall of Fame on sale Friday

Jason Taylor was enshrined in the Dolphins Honor Roll in 2012. Next stop: Canton. (Bill Ingram/Palm Beach Post)

Tickets for the Hall of Fame Game and Enshrinement Ceremony — which will include former Dolphins defensive end Jason Taylor — go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday.

Taylor and the rest of the Class of 2017 will be enshrined Aug. 5 in Canton, Ohio.

The Hall of Fame Game, between the Arizona Cardinals and Dallas Cowboys, is Aug. 3.

There also will be a concert by Toby Keith on Aug. 6.

Tickets for the Enshrinement Ceremony are $40, $55, $65, $75, $99 and $175. Premium seats are $90; club seats are $175. Tickets may be purchased at www.ProFootballHOF.com/tickets or by calling 844-4HOFTIX (844-446-3849).

Taylor will be honored along with Morten Andersen, Terrell Davis, Kenny Easley, Jerry Jones, LaDainian Tomlinson and Kurt Warner.

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