Jason Taylor is good, Jason Taylor is old and Jason Taylor is a Washington Redskin. He doesn’t come cheap either, costing the reigning NFC Wild Card — it’s a big deal! — a second-rounder in ’09 and a sixth in ’10. And, after it all comes out in the wash, I like it a lot. Now, for the wash:
1. Last year’s Redskins couldn’t rush the passer. According to Pro Football Prospectus, they “hurried the opposing quarterback on less than nine percent of all pass plays, the lowest percentage in the NFL.” Ouch.
2. Jason Taylor, even at the age of 33, could rush the passer. He had 11 sacks and 16 hurries in ’07, which is waaay more than the guy he’s replacing, Phillip Daniels, who, at the age of 34, recorded 2.5 and 4.
3. Taylor, who turns 34 the day I turn 31, is old. How old? That’s him grasping Jeff Hostetler there. Also, according to PFP, “Defensive ends generally begin to decline after age 29.” I’m glad I’m not a defensive end.
4. Taylor’s play seems to be slipping. Again, via PFP: “Taylor was one of the most penalized players last season, drawing 11 flags: five for jumping offside, four for various types of roughness, and two for holding.”
5. Taylor and Carter are the new Manley and Mann. The Skins haven’t had pass rushing ends like this since the ’80s. Add in tackles Cornelius Griffin and Anthony Montgomery, and the Skins haven’t had a D-line like this since the ’80s, when Dexter and Charles teamed up with Dave Butz and Darryl Grant. Pray no one gets hurt though, because there’s no depth, as is the case with most of the units on this team.
6. Taylor and Carter get to fight over No. 99. Taylor wore it in Miami. Carter wears it in D.C., and recorded 10.5 sacks in it last year.
7. This mortgages tomorrow for today. Obviously, but improper drafting and the misuse of picks is why the Skins are so thin. It seemed Danny & Vinny were turning the corner this year, avoiding the free agent splash and adding rather than subtracting picks. But here we go again. Taylor’s contract expires after ’09, and he has mentioned that he may not play past this season. However long he plays, he’s an improvement, at least for the next year or two. The opposite is true for ’10 and beyond.
8. Taylor gives us someone to blog about. The Bogwagon needs fuel.
In the end, No. 4 and No. 7 bother me (especially No. 7), but No. 1 and No. 2 are why the Skins had to do the deal. Rushing the passer has a massive effect on the defense performance, and Carter and the secondary must be turning cartwheels right now. They just added one of the premier pass rushers of this or any decade, and he’ll terrorize quarterbacks and attract double-teams all season long. It’s a good day to be a Redskin.