FOXBORO, Mass. — Jason Taylor’s Pro Football Hall of Fame speech Saturday night included a shoutout to New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick, whose team Taylor routinely dominated throughout his NFL career.
Belichick returned the favor and then some Tuesday morning.
Asked about Taylor’s statement that he “never felt more respected” on an NFL field than when he played against Belichick, the Patriots coach offered a nearly three-minute dissertation praising the former Miami Dolphins defensive end.
“(Taylor’s Hall of Fame remarks were) tremendously flattering,” Belichick said. “Believe me, he doesn’t have nearly as much respect for me as I have for him. There hasn’t been a player we game-planned for like we did Jason Taylor.
“Tackles were an issue, tackles for loss were an issue, but the biggest issues were those tackles for loss that caused fumbles and then scoop-and-scores off of that. In the passing game, sacks were an issue and the strip sacks and the scoop-and-scores off the strip sacks that were even a bigger problem. Batted balls, they were a problem. Tipped balls that went for interceptions. Tipped balls that went for interceptions that were run back for touchdowns. Those are the kind of things that just kept you up all night during the week that you played Taylor.”
In 28 career games against the Patriots, Taylor tallied 14 sacks and three interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown.
“Hell, half the reason he’s in the Hall of Fame is because of what he did against us,” Belichick said. “He was a tremendous player. Very, very disruptive. And literally a guy you had to account for on every single play — goal line, third down, first down. I can remember Charlie (Weis) and Josh (McDaniels) always making sure we accounted for him on every single snap.
“So I certainly appreciate the compliment that he threw my way last week in Canton. I appreciate it very much.”
Taylor was one of six players inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame over the weekend, joining Kurt Warner, LaDainian Tomlinson, Kenny Easley, Morten Andersen and Terrell Davis. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones also was inducted.
Thumbnail photo via Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports Images
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