"We need to grow and we need to continue to change, and I think Chad has grown immensely since I left here a year ago," Taylor said in an interview with the local NBC affiliate. "I saw a kid in New York, Mark Sanchez, that is young, I don't think he's as talented as Chad Henne."
The comment is sure to spark a controversy and will add to the electricity when the two AFC East rivals meet for the first time this season, Oct. 17 -- a Monday night game at MetLife Stadium.
Sanchez, during his weekly spot in 1050 ESPN Radio, laughed off Taylor's comments, saying he took no offense. He called Taylor "one of the best teammates I've ever had," adding that he'd expect Taylor to back his current quarterback.
"If he said that last year, I'd be a little upset," Sanchez said. "That's what he's supposed to do. He's trying to build up Chad and that's what he's supposed to do ... There's no slight on Jason Taylor."
That Taylor took a shot at the Jets is no surprise. He made a career of it during his first and second stints with the Dolphins, occasionally insulting the Jets' fan base. The fans reluctantly embraced him last season, but they'll probably go back to booing him Oct. 17. The Jets cut Taylor after the season.
It may surprise some, but Sanchez and Henne have fairly similar career passing numbers. Henne's passer rating is 76.0, Sanchez's 72.5.
Clearly, Sanchez has outplayed Henne this season, leading the Jets to a 2-1 start, with a 90.0 rating. Henne, nearly replaced before the season, has been mediocre (82.4) in the Dolphins' 0-3 start.
In terms of winning, there's no comparison. Sanchez is 25-15 as a starter, plus four playoff victories -- all on the road. Henne is 13-17 with no playoff appearances.
Rich Cimini covers the Jets for ESPNNewYork.com.