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Taylor Arrives In D.C, Ready For Fresh Start


Polished and smooth, Jason Taylor flashed a million dollar smile as he arrived at Redskins Park for his introductory press conference on Monday.

Sure, Taylor's popularity extends beyond football now. He was a contestant on "Dancing With the Stars" earlier this offseason.

But he is a football player. A defensive end, to be specific.

There's nothing polished or smooth about playing football.

And Taylor knows opposing offensive linemen will want to wipe out that million dollar smile on game days.

He may have Hollywood aspirations once his playing career is over, but for now he aspires to play football.

"It's football season," he said. "There is no entertainment business stuff right now. There is no dancing."

As an NFL defensive end, Taylor's passion is getting after the quarterback.

"I love chasing them, making them nervous, and making them do dumb things. That's what I look forward to doing here."

Taylor added: "As an athlete, you want to win. Some people do it for money, for fame, for whatever reason. All of those things are great, but the reason I play the game is to win."

Taylor has played his entire 11-year NFL career with the Miami Dolphins.

His contract runs through the 2009 season, but there has been some speculation that he would retire after 2008 to pursue that Hollywood career.

Not so.

"I'll be here for more than one year, God willing, unless something bad happens [with his health]," Taylor said. "I'm here to play ball--and play as long as I can."

He admitted he went through a trying season last year. The Dolphins were 1-15 and the worst team in the NFL.

Still, Taylor was one of the most popular players ever in Dolphins franchise history. So his move to Washington, D.C., via trade, requires an adjustment. He seemed somewhat surprised at the media throng that greeted his arrival at Redskins Park.

It's a fresh start for Taylor, who turns 34 years old Sept. 1.

"I wish Miami the best," he said. "They could turn around and be the New Orleans Saints of a couple years ago. I know the Redskins are a good football team. I don't know everybody yet. I don't know the ins and outs of the organization yet.

"But I know it's a good football team that had success last year. There's no reason they shouldn't have success this year."

Taylor meets his new teammates in a Monday evening meeting.

One item on his agenda: chatting with fellow defensive end Andre Carter, who wears jersey No. 99 for the Redskins. That's the jersey number Taylor has worn his entire career in Miami.

Taylor may have to compensate Carter for No. 99.

What about a dance off?

"I'm pretty sure I'll be the one wearing No. 99," Taylor said, laughing.

How will he fit in with the Redskins' defense, a close-knit group?

"There are a lot of good players here. Unfortunately, Phillip got hurt and he's out. The secondary has Shawn Springs and Fred Smoot, and London Fletcher is just a great ball player. I know the energy that he plays with. So I like what I see here."

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