Jason Taylor knows he's considered Public Enemy No. 1 by Jets fans given the venom he's spewed in their direction on several occasions.
So the only true way to win over some is to give non-stop effort, and show that he's here to be another piece in a Super Bowl championship puzzle and not just collect a paycheck from the Jets simply because no one else offered him a contract.
"I think the No. 1 currency in the NFL is what you do on the football field," Taylor said on a conference call a little while ago. "So if you want to get results, if you want to get something done, if you want to get a new contract, if you want to get whatever it is, the best way to go about doing that is by your play. And that's what I plan to do, is come over here and play my butt off like I have for the 13 years in the league, and give this organization and the fans everything that I have and totally commit myself to helping these guys win games, and try to win a championship.
"As far as the things that have been said in the past, we had a good time with it and we went at it a lot of time and added some fuel to the fire. Me being up here now may or may not add more fuel to the fire, but as far as Jets fans are concerned, I’m one of you guys now. I’m part of the team and I’m trying my best to win a championship for these guys."
Still, there's a weirdness factor in this whole ordeal. Isn't there?
"It is different," he said. "It is a little surreal. Really on my first visit, walking into the building and kind of feeling like you are in somewhat of enemy territory was different. But the fact of the matter is I’m a New York Jet now, and I’m excited to be, and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do as a football team. There are a lot of good players on this team, a lot of good guys. I know I keep raving about Rex Ryan. I haven't played for him yet. But he seems like a very special and fun coach to play for.
"And all the guys that I’ve talked to, whether it be from this team or guys that have played for him in the past in Baltimore or what have you, everybody has great things to say about him. So I’m here now. I’m committed to what I am doing and you are going to get my best effort like I’ve given for the last 13 years."
Taylor also didn't deny his affinity for South Florida and how difficult it was for him to come to grips with the fact the franchise he played 12 season with didn't want him.
"I think I made it very obvious at the beginning of the offseason that I wanted to be in Miami and I was looking forward to doing that," said Taylor, who'll participate immediately in the Jets voluntary offseason workouts. "When it became more and more clearer over the last few weeks that that wasn’t going to happen and we had to go in a different direction. I couldn't be happier to have someone like Rex Ryan come up to the forefront and want me. He was one half away from going to the Super Bowl last year, he and the Jets, and had the No. 1 defense in the league.
"And then for him to express interest in a 35-year old defensive end/linebacker out of the rival Miami Dolphins, it was very flattering to me. So when it became clear that we were going to have to go in a different direction, there was no other phone call or no more flattering offer than to hear from the Jets."
Taylor is already aware the Jets play in Miami in Week 3, a week he says should be very interesting. So should the reaction of Dolphins fans, some of whom Taylor knows likely turned on him since he's now with the hated Jets.
"Look, I played a long time in Miami, so those fans and a lot of people in that city and associated with that city will always hold a special place in my heart," he said. "It's like someone dating a girl for so long and you guys break up. They still hold a piece in your heart. But at the same time, it's time for a new chapter. Things didn't work out so that I could stay in Miami and I’m proud to be where I am now, and look forward to creating some havoc for he Jets, and like I said, winning some ball games and winning some fans over here.
"There will be a certain element of Miami Dolphins fans that aren't going to forgive me or will always have a problem with it, and I can't change everybody's mind. I can't convince everybody. And the same thing goes for Jets fans that may or may not be upset with me for over the years, the back-and-forth trash talking. I can't change everybody's mind, but I can do my best to help this team win some football games. And I think in the meantime, we’ll be all right."
Could you imagine what it would be like if Taylor came here end ended up winning a Super Bowl? Some of the Miami fans may really turn on him them. That could get extremely ugly.
I wondered how ironic it would be if he did win that coveted ring with the Jets, and asked Taylor for his thoughts on the matter.
"God lets things happen in life for a reason, and this is where I’m supposed to be right now," he said. "I’m here for one reason. I‘m here to play football the best that I can to try to help this team win a Super Bowl. And if that happens this year, I mean people in Hollywood spend a lot of time trying out to figure a way to end a movie or people spend a lot of time trying to end a book. And what better ending is it than to win the Super Bowl?
"And to do it here, it would be pretty ironic. But it would be awesome."