Miami Dolphins linebacker Jason Taylor (99) walks onto the field...

Miami Dolphins linebacker Jason Taylor (99) walks onto the field during the second quarter against the Houston Texans. (Dec. 27, 2009) Credit: AP

I have to admit, the quotes are quite disturbing if you're a Jets fan, especially Jason Taylor's comment last season: "To score a touchdown in New York against the Jets in the last time I'll be in the hellhole they call a stadium up there before they get rid of it and move to the new one, it was outstanding."

And when he said: "Just put it this way: There's a little more class on the Giants' side, and some Jets fans take the 'cl' out of class."

Then there's this one, after the Jets beat the Dolphins, 40-13, in Miami in 2007: "They beat us. They'll go home happy, and their fans will be happy that they got three wins this year."

OK, so Taylor made it quite clear over the years that he had no love for the Jets and their fans. But now that he has decided to sign a contract with said Jets, how are their fans supposed to feel?

They should feel elated.

There's no taking back what Taylor said over the years. But now there should be no doubt among Jets fans that Taylor is yet another addition to a roster brimming with talent and poised to make a meaningful run in 2010. Taylor has been as good a pass rusher as any over the past decade, and even though he turns 36 this season, his presence is huge. On a team that could have used an upgraded pass rush last season, Taylor is just what the Jets need to put themselves in position for a run at the Super Bowl.

That's not saying he alone will put them over the top. But when you add him to a defense that is already terrific, it can only help. Taylor has produced double-digit sacks in six of his last 10 seasons, and in a Rex Ryan defense that will use him almost exclusively as a pass rusher, there's no reason to think he can't get 10 or more sacks.

Bottom line: This is about what Taylor can do for the Jets, not what he has done to them or said about them in his previous 13 seasons. If Taylor can get to Tom Brady, Chad Henne, Joe Flacco, Aaron Rodgers, Brett Favre (probably) and any other quarterback, then his incendiary remarks will be long forgotten.

Besides, if you've ever been around Taylor, you'll know he is one of the most polished and engaging guys around, and that he'll soon find self-deprecating humor in his negative remarks. Not only that, but he'll provide another solid veteran presence in a locker room filled with plenty of talent and even more personality. He'll also be a steadying influence on some of the controversial players brought in over the last year, including Antonio Cromartie, Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes.

But the real benefit will come on game day, because Taylor will provide another means for Ryan to draw up his ingenious schemes. You can't have enough pass rushers, and the Jets really don't have a lot of them. Calvin Pace is their only true pass-rushing linebacker, but he's not reliable on a game-in, game-out basis. That's not saying Taylor automatically will get 15 sacks; but he will force teams to account for him in their schemes.

Still not willing to welcome Taylor to New York? Well, consider this: The guy yelling the loudest about the Jets' interest in Taylor has been "Fireman Ed" Anzalone, who ripped the idea from the get-go, said he wanted nothing to do with Taylor and called him a "meathead."

Hmm. Wonder if Anzalone might have felt differently about pulling for a Dolphin a few years back. Such as in high school, when he posed for his yearbook picture in a Dolphins jersey.

That didn't stop Anzalone from turning into one of the most passionate Jets fans around. And it shouldn't stop Jets fans from embracing Taylor.

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