Jets defensive end Jason Taylor addresses the media during his conference call, on Wednesday, January 12, 2011.
Q: What are your thoughts about some of this back-and-forth we've heard today between Antonio Cromartie and the Patriots?
JT: I actually haven't heard anything. I thought it was nice to not have heard anything, but I guess there's stuff out there. But, whatever. I think at the end of the day, when the game's played, all that stuff is irrelevant. The game will be decided on the field and not comments to the media or what have you. Whatever is said is maybe something for the entertainment value or however else you want to file it.
Q: Do you think there is a line that can be crossed with things like that? Cromartie called Tom Brady an [expletive].
JT: Oh, he did?
JT: Yeah, I didn't know that. Is there a line that can be crossed? I don't know. I mean, maybe. There's so much said and done nowadays in the media, I think a lot of it is unregulated. You hear a lot through different [outlets] - whether it be blogs or papers or television - that people don't always choose their words the best, but have the freedom to say what they want. So, if someone's offended by it, I guess that's their own prerogative. I don't put much stock into it. I really don't worry about it. People can say and do what they want. And I don't think it has much bearing as to what happens on the field. I'm not one for the whole bulletin board material thing, and I'm not one to mix it up a whole lot in the media either. So, that's just me.
Q: We know from talking to you over the years how much respect you have for Tom Brady. What are your thoughts on his on-field demeanor?
JT: I know people talk about him celebrating or whatever or pointing at the sideline. I've heard things about that. And he was pretty demonstrative when we played him up there last time, and when they scored a touchdown. I come from the school of thought where if you don't want someone to celebrate or be excited or say something to you or do something that you might perceive as offensive, then don't let them score, and they won't do that. I respect Brady as a competitor, and as a person No. 1, and as a competitor, and I think the things he's done on the field this year have been nothing short of amazing. And the guy plays with a lot of passion, and as an athlete, you can appreciate that. If he's not on your team, obviously it'll tick you off. But again, if you keep him out of the end zone, you won't be offended by him.
Q: Other than the obvious, which would be don't let them score more points on you, is there something you guys have pointed at that you can change since the last time you met in December?
JT: Well, I think everything. The last contest was kind of a perfect storm for us. We turned the ball over and got behind early and let Tom and the offense get rolling. [We] didn't make much hay offensively. [We] played poorly on special teams. It was just a situation where I don't think we played well on any facet. We did go back and look at that. You can't ignore it. Even though there is so much negative, I think there are some positive things you can look at from the tape, but I think it was important to go back and look at it and look at the negative aspects and try to correct those. We have to everything better than we did last time, and I can't really sit here and pinpoint one thing that we did well enough that we can repeat and be successful.
Q: Does the talk ever become a distraction and do you ever wish you didn't have to answer these questions?
JT: I think everyone is a little different. Some people come from different schools - not schools as in colleges obviously - but different backgrounds as far as how they approach the game. And I've never been a real big talker as far as getting stuff stirred up and doing all that. The nice thing about Rex [Ryan] is he lets everyone be themselves. You can be your own individual person and if it fits you, then by all means do what you do. And if it doesn't fit you, then don't read it, don't worry about it, don't answer about it. But, it's in a position where sometimes you get asked, and sometimes you have to answer. It's not that big of a deal. I get amused by a lot of it. It's entertaining sometimes. Sometimes, does it get old or do you get tired of hearing it? Sometimes. But, most of the time, I just laugh it off.
Q: I was wondering if you could look back on the first Patriots game. I believe you had the sack to end the threat. In a career like you've had, where does a moment like that rank?
JT: It was a good play. I don't want to underestimate it, but I don't want to overstate it either. It was a good play. I've had so many good matchups against the Patriots or all the teams in the AFC East that it was one of those good, hard fought, fun games [with] a big play at the end of the game. Obviously, I didn't repeat that when we went up there, unfortunately... But, it was a good play, I'm not in the business of ranking things right now, I'm still trying to stack them up and then when I get done, I'll look back and come up with a ranking at that point.
Q: I'm sure you have watched a bunch of film by this point. Why do teams struggle to get pressure on Brady?
JT: Well, I think number one, we need to do a better job of winning one-on-one battles. I think at times we have put ourselves in position to have one-on-one rushes or have a chance to get pressure and can do a better job of executing that. Another thing is I think Tom does a great job of diagnosing what the defense is and what's coming at him and understanding where to go with the football. He's very much a student of the game, and he's seen it all and I think he does a great job of putting his team in a position to be successful. When you're playing against the best quarterback in the league, it's sometimes tough, regardless of who you're playing against up front. Sometimes it's tough to get to him and sack him because he understands what he's getting and gets rid of the football.
Q: Obviously, this season isn't over yet, but how much longer do you want to do this and have you given any thought to next year yet?
JT: I really haven't given much thought to the future. I'm trying to cherish the moment I'm in now and enjoy these playoffs and take this as far as we can. And with the uncertainty in the league with the labor agreement or disagreement, however you want to call it, there are a lot of things that are up in the air. But I'm under contract here for two years, and we'll see what happens. We'll see if they want me back or if somebody wants me and if the body still can go. But I think, all things being equal, I think I'll be ready to go again.