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NOTEBOOK: Familiar Face Returns To Dolphins Practice

Posted May 27, 2014

Dolphins Honor Roll member Jason Taylor assists coaching staff at OTA.

There was a familiar face at Dolphins practice Tuesday when they opened the OTA segment of the offseason conditioning program.

Looking like he still could play, Jason Taylor was back on the practice field at the Doctors Hospital Training Facility at Nova Southeastern University.

Taylor spent practice around the Dolphins defensive linemen, observing and passing along some of the knowledge he gained during his illustrious NFL career.

Head Coach Joe Philbin explained that Taylor was working on a daily basis as a volunteer.

“I told him at our 7 o’clock staff meeting, I don’t think he really knew what he was signing up for,” Philbin said with a smile. “I think he’s going to be around a lot in the OTAs. He’s approached us about working with the defensive linemen. I don’t know that there could be a better mentor for our young players than Jason Taylor. He’s energetic and enthusiastic about helping out and contributing.”

Taylor, who closed out his career with the Dolphins in 2011, already served as a mentor for Pro Bowl defensive end Cameron Wake when the two were teammates.

On Monday, it was time for young players like 2013 first-round pick Dion Jordan to benefit from Taylor’s knowledge.

“It’s wonderful,” Jordan said. “Just his presence alone I feel like it’s a benefit to this team because not only was he a great player, he’s a great person. He’s dropping a lot of knowledge. He’s going to be in there watching film and working with us out here, so I’m going to pick his brain.”

Taylor’s presence at practice was reminiscent of former quarterback Chad Pennington working with the team last offseason.

Philbin says he’s hoping to see more and more former players show up at the team’s facility.

“We’ve reached out to a lot of guys,” he said. “We anticipate other former players getting a little more involved. We’d love to have them come by. We were fortunate last week in Phase Two (of the offseason conditioning program) that Nick Buoniconti came back — hometown boy from Springfield, Massachusetts — and he had a chance to talk to the team.

“We’re going to encourage that and get as many former players out here as possible. How many want to put the whistle on, that’s another story. As you guys know, we have a tremendous alumni group. These guys have been very, very supportive of our staff and we certainly want to involve them whenever we can.”
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