The post JT era is underway. It's like the marketing gurus are telling us on every website, billboard, radio commercial, television spot, newspaper, bus stop and taxi cab rooftop: it's a new beginning! The genesis of a new era, the commencement of a new phase in Dolphins history.....
"They're not going to be as good," one former NFL executive said. "I think the arrow was pointing down (on Taylor's level of performance), but he's still better than anyone they have. ...Add it up and Taylor's trade Sunday to Washington for two draft picks makes the Dolphins - the NFL's worst team last season - worse.
So who will salvage our season now that JT is out frolicking in DC?
First off, there's 26-year old Charlie Anderson. With Houston for the first four seasons of his career, he was primarily a special team's guy. When he did line up at outside linebacker, he recorded a whopping 3 sacks. Parcells & Co. are hoping his size and athleticism fit into the 3-4 scheme. I'm hoping Megan Fox will show up at my door and sit on my face.
Then there's Quentin Moses, who is a straight up pass rusher. But he was drafted by Oakland last year, then released and picked up by the Cardinals and then released. The Fins eventually picked him up off waivers. Takes a certain kind of suck to be a journeyman in just your rookie season. There are also Matt Roth, Vonnie Holliday and Randy Starks -- all three are probably the best bets to make some kind of impact in 2008. Seriously? We're hedging our bets on Matt Roth? Ultimately, it'll be on the shoulders of rookies Phillip "Longshanks" Merling and Kendal Langford. Merling has the size, the talent and the elongated balls to be a star in this league. He just has to meet that potential. Langford is a project, but looks like JT with his size, physicality and athleticism. But these two are all about 2009 and beyond.
As for 2008:
The Dolphins hope [Joey] Porter, who had just 5 1/2 sacks, including only 1 1/2 in the team's first 11 games, bounces back in a scheme similar to the one he played in during three Pro Bowl seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Blessed with quickness more than Taylor's flat-out speed, Porter, 31, twice had a career high 10 1/2 sacks, a total Taylor has surpassed in six of the past eight seasons.
Porter had been expecting to have a bounce-back season lining up opposite JT in the 3-4 this year. He was even commencing his patented shit-talking, telling reporters how offenses facing him and JT had to "pick their poison." Now, the onus is on Porter to basically be the play-maker on this defense now that JT is gone.
When asked for a comment about this, Joey Porter said absolutely nothing. Because right after he was asked to comment, he put on one of those fake mustaches and a monocle and held a pipe and started to talk like he was from England. "Blimey! I nevah 'eard o' this Joey Porter you're referring to, guvnah..." Then he ran away.