CANTON, OH (CBSMiami) – It’s a big weekend for former Dolphin great Jason Taylor as he’s inducted Saturday into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Friday night, Taylor literally got the look of a Hall of Famer.
Fans mobbed him as he arrived for the Gold Jacket Dinner.
A parade of Hall of Famers fanned out during the dinner, wearing their gold jackets.
As Taylor was introduced, he paused to hug his mom and kiss his daughter.
Then it was the “wow” moment as Taylor got a specially fitted jacket of his own.
Earlier in the day, Taylor reflected on his path to football’s most elite fraternity.
“I got in that plane this morning to fly up her and it hit me really hard. It’s real and it’s exciting,” Taylor told CBS4’s Jim Berry Thursday after arriving in Canton.
“I’m just happy that they, the Hall of Fame, lowered their standards for this guy here,” Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor joked with Taylor.
Taylor played for 15 years, mostly with the Miami Dolphins, and ranks among the greatest defensive playmakers in league history. No player recovered more fumbles or scored more touchdowns on fumble returns, and no lineman scored more on interception returns.
“I didn’t think I would be a first-ballot guy,” Taylor says. “I thought the lack of a Super Bowl, the lack of playoff success, would come back to bite me.”
Taylor played from 1997 to 2011, and aside from one season each with the Redskins and Jets, he was with the Dolphins, playing for seven coaches who combined to win three postseason games — none after 2000.
Taylor was a 36-year-old rush linebacker with the 2010 Jets when they lost to the Steelers 13-6 in the AFC championship game. That’s the closest he came to a Super Bowl.
“I still regret I was never able to play in one or win one,” he says. “You’re in this game to win championships, you know? But I didn’t earn it. We just didn’t earn it. We had some pretty good teams a few years; it wasn’t meant to be. It stinks, but it wasn’t meant to be.”
The other inductees are kicker Morten Andersen; running back Terrell Davis; safety Kenny Easley; owner, president and general manager Jerry Jones; running back LaDainian Tomlinson; and quarterback Kurt Warner.