A 5-10 team, playing out the string, usually doesn't have much incentive. But the Dolphins could be different Sunday because LB Jason Taylor, arguably the best defensive player in team history and a beloved figure in South Florida, will be playing his final game.
Taylor, 37, who played for the Jets in 2010, is retiring. On Wednesday, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross released a statement, thanking Taylor for his years of service. The Jets expect the Dolphins to be fired up for the occasion, turning a blah game (from the South Florida perspective) into an event.
"I think (Taylor's) going to be amped up and ready to go," LG Matt Slauson said. "Brick has already talked about it. We're excited for it, we're ready for it."
Brick is LT D'Brickashaw Ferguson, who will block Taylor. Their rivalry dates to 2006, Ferguson's rookie year. It took a hiatus last season, when the longtime rivals became teammates, with lockers only a few feet apart.
"They're going to want to send him off with a big win, and we can't let that happen," TE Dustin Keller said.
Taylor, one of the most despised opponents in Jets history, would love nothing more than to ruin the Jets' playoff chances.
"You know what, we would love for him to go out with a win, and I think his presence will be missed, not only in our locker room, but in this organization," Dolphins WR Brandon Marshall said. "Those guys are once-in-a-lifetime guys."
Taylor can get pressure on the quarterback. He has seven sacks and 13 QB hits as a situational pass rusher.