It’s that time of year when we welcome new members into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Which current legend does defender Jason Taylor remind us of?
On Saturday night, seven new gentlemen will enter this prestigious establishment in Canton, Ohio. For the people who have suited up, coached and contributed to the game of pro football, it’s quite the honor. The list stands at 310 when referencing the members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The Class of 2017 includes is an impressive mix of both offensive and defensive standouts. Here we are looking at each player or contributors and chose a fellow Hall of Famer that he reminds us of. We remind you that we are talking more playing style than numbers when it comes to the on-the-field performers.
In the case of our next inductee, it’s safe to say he was Taylor-made for the Hall.
Jason Taylor/Bobby Bell
For those out there who don’t remember defensive end/outside linebacker Bobby Bell, here’s a little reminder courtesy of the fine staff at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. We don’t know the defensive force of those great Kansas City Chiefs defenses played before sacks became an official statistic. But here’s what we do know.
In 12 seasons, the nine-time Pro Bowler picked off 26 passes and ran back six for scores. He also turned two of his nine fumble recoveries into touchdowns. At 6-foot-4 and 228 pounds, Bell was an intimidating playmaker and the forerunner to the hybrid defensive end/outside linebacker position.
Jason Taylor was a third-round draft choice in 1997 from the University of Akron — not far from Canton, Ohio. He played 15 seasons in the league with the Miami Dolphins (13), Washington Redskins (1) and New York Jets (1). Named to six Pro Bowls, he totaled 139.5 sacks, forced 40 fumbles and was also credited with three safeties. He picked off eight passes and returned three for touchdowns.
The 2006 NFL Defensive Player of the Year recovered 29 opponents’ fumbles and took back six for scores. The 6-foot-6, 255-pound performer spent the majority of his career at defensive end before adjusting to a linebacker role in certain schemes later in his career.
Like Bell and fellow Hall of Famer Charles Haley, Jason Taylor could attack you a lot of different ways. His flexibility made him an ideal fit for any defensive unit or scheme. He made life miserable for a lot of quarterbacks around the NFL and is just another example of a player from a smaller school excelling in the pros.