Lawrence Taylor
All-American college football player, professional football player, linebacker, Pro Football Hall of Fame member
Lawrence Taylor
Lawrence Julius Taylor, nicknamed "L.T. ", is a Hall of Fame former American football player. Taylor played his entire professional career as a linebacker for the New York Giants in the National Football League (NFL). He is considered to be one of the greatest players in the history of football, and has been ranked as the top defensive player in league history by former players, coaches, media members, and news outlets such as the NFL Network, and Sporting News.
Biography
Lawrence Taylor's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Lawrence Taylor from around the web
Are The Oakland Raiders Super Bowl Contenders?
Huffington Post - 6 months
The Oakland Raiders haven’t been to the playoffs since 2002. They play in the most obsolete professional sports stadium in North America and they might be moving to Las Vegas sometime in the near future. And yet, with loads of uncertainty around the direction of the franchise, GM Reggie McKenzie ― whose Raiders have won a measly 14 of 48 games since he took over in 2012 ― has compiled one of the most talented young crops of personnel in the NFL. Last season, with a second-year quarterback who used to be more famous for his older brother’s accomplishments than his own, the Silver and Black went 7-9 ― hardly a reason to celebrate, but one of the league’s best improvements nevertheless. "This is the biggest of the bold!" @Schultz_Report on predicting @RGIII being the comeback player of the year https://t.co/6MRvWZFhHp — GMFB (@gmfb) August 23, 2016 One season later, the Raiders enter Week 1 with monumental expectations, hoping to snap the league’s second-longes ...
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Huffington Post article
NFL legend Lawrence Taylor arrested -- again -- in Florida
CNN - 6 months
NFL legend Lawrence Taylor is arrested in Florida and charged with driving under the influence, the Florida Highway Patrol says.
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CNN article
Lawrence Taylor arrested on suspicion of DUI - ESPN
Google News - 6 months
ESPN Lawrence Taylor arrested on suspicion of DUI ESPN PALM BEACH, Fla. -- The Florida Highway Patrol said Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor has been arrested in Palm Beach County on suspicion of DUI, the Palm Beach Post has reported. Spokesman Sgt. Mark Wysocky told the newspaper that Taylor ... Lawrence Taylor arrested for drunk drivingNBCSports.com Report: Ex-NFL superstar Lawrence Taylor arrested on DUI charges247Sports.com Lawrence Taylor arrested for DUI in Palm Beach CountyMiami Herald Sporting News -New York Daily News -Sun Sentinel -Bleacher Report all 42 news articles »
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Google News article
John McClain’s 2015 Texans report card: Defensive line
Houston Chronicle - about 1 year
It seems almost unfair to judge the other Texans’ defensive linemen on a scale with J.J. Watt, but these are not individual grades. !function(D,id,s){ if(D.getElementById(id))return; s=D.createElement('script');s.id=id; s.src='//pollware-cdn.sodahead.com/pollware/pollware_890.js'; D.getElementsByTagName('head')[0].appendChild(s); }(document,'sh-pollware-loader'); McCLAIN'S GRADE: B HIGHS J.J. Watt leading the NFL with 17 ½ sacks. During the four-game winning streak that turned around the season, Watt registering 7 ½ sacks. Watt, Jared Crick and Vince Wilfork staying healthy enough to start every game. LOWS Watt suffering a broken hand in practice and getting one sack during the four games in which he had to wear a cast. Crick having only two sacks after getting 3 ½ in 2014. Wilfork having a career-low six unassisted tackles other than when he suffered a season-ending injury at New England. Watt, right end Jared Crick and nose tackle Vince Wilfork started every ga ...
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Houston Chronicle article
Texans’ injured J.J. Watt replaced in Pro Bowl by Vikings’ Everson Griffen
Houston Chronicle - about 1 year
Injured Texans star defensive end J.J. Watt was replaced in the Pro Bowl by Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen. Watt had his sports hernia successfully repaired Tuesday in Philadelphia as renowned specialist Dr. William Meyers performed the surgical procedure, according to a source not authorized to speak publicly. Griffen led the Vikings with 10 1/2 sacks, 17 tackles for losses and 76 quarterback hurries. “Any time you get to make the Pro Bowl it’s an honor; that means you worked hard this season and you were a top player at your position,” Griffen said in a statement. “It’s just an honor to go out there and represent not just me, but the Minnesota Vikings, as well. It’s an opportunity to showcase my abilities.” The reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year, Watt is expected to recover in time for organized team activities and minicamps this spring. Watt played with the groin injury for six games before experiencing a “breaking point,” in his words when he aggra ...
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Houston Chronicle article
New York radio host rips Texans star J.J. Watt
Houston Chronicle - about 1 year
Texans star pass rusher J.J. Watt gets plenty of love from the media, but we’ve found at least one person who isn’t a huge fan. Mike Francesa, who is a well-known New York sports radio host, spent more than five minutes on his radio show ripping Watt and the Texans for having him take a direct snap on offense near the goal line during the team’s 30-0 playoff loss to the Chiefs on Saturday. With the Texans near the Chiefs’ end zone and trailing 13-0, Bill O’Brien put Watt and Vince Wilfork on offense with Watt taking a direct snap and trying to follow the blocking of Wilfork. Watt was tackled for a loss, and then Brian Hoyer was intercepted on the next play. Francesa works himself up into a lather about Watt playing offense, but then he attacks Watt as an overall player, saying, “Watt didn’t even make a play in that game. All he did was fall down four or five times. Please. I’m so sick of hearing about Watt. It’s ridiculous. His team never wins anything.” Watt recently was name ...
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Houston Chronicle article
Texans’ J.J. Watt has successful sports hernia surgery
Houston Chronicle - about 1 year
Texans star defensive end J.J. Watt had his sports hernia successfully repaired Tuesday in Philadelphia as renowned specialist Dr. William Meyers performed the surgical procedure, according to a source not authorized to speak publicly. Meyers is the same surgeon who did Texans running back Arian Foster’s surgery in August with the four-time Pro Bowl running back recovering in time to play Oct. 4 against the Atlanta Falcons before tearing his Achilles tendon Oct. 25 against the Miami Dolphins. The reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year, Watt is expected to recover in time for organized team activities and minicamps this spring. Watt played with the groin injury for six games before experiencing a “breaking point,” in his words when he aggravated the injury during a 30-0 AFC wild-card loss to the Kansas City Chiefs while being blocked to the ground by offensive tackle Eric Fisher. Watt was helped off the field in the third quarter by trainers and didn’t return. Despit ...
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Houston Chronicle article
Texans’ J.J. Watt voted to fourth consecutive All-Pro team
Houston Chronicle - about 1 year
Texans defensive end J.J. Watt and wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins were voted to The Associated Press All-Pro Team on Friday. Watt, 26, was voted First Team All-Pro for a fourth consecutive season. He was a unanimous selection. Hopkins, 23, was voted Second Team All-Pro by a panel of 50 members of the media. Watt and Hopkins, who will help the Texans try to beat Kansas City in an AFC Wild-Card game today at NRG Stadium, also were voted to the Pro Bowl. Watt has a chance to join former New York Giants outside linebacker Lawrence Taylor as the only players to win the NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award three times. Watt has to wait until Feb. 6 to find out if he becomes a three-time winner. Individual awards for most valuable player, defensive player, offensive player, coach, comeback player, offensive rookie and defensive rookie will not be disclosed until the NFL Honors Awards Show on Feb. 6, the night before Super Bowl L in Santa Clara, Calif. The show will be televised ...
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Houston Chronicle article
Bill Belichick compares ‘major force’ J.J. Watt favorably to Lawrence Taylor
Houston Chronicle - about 1 year
Hall of Fame New York Giants outside linebacker Lawrence Taylor, coached by Bill Belichick as the defensive coordinator on Bill Parcells’ staff, is the only NFL player to be named NFL Defensive Player of the Year three times. Heading into Sunday night’s game at NRG Stadium, the New England Patriots coach puts Texans star defensive end J.J. Watt in the same category. Watt is a two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year who won it last year and leads the NFL this season with 13 1/2 sacks. !function(D,id,s){ if(D.getElementById(id))return; s=D.createElement('script');s.id=id; s.src='//pollware-cdn.sodahead.com/pollware/pollware_890.js'; D.getElementsByTagName('head')[0].appendChild(s); }(document,'sh-pollware-loader'); “Watt’s a major force, there are very few players I would put in same conversation with Lawrence Taylor, I would put J.J. in there,” said Belichick, adding that Watt is Most Valuable Player-worthy and joked that he wished Watt would take the week off during a Wedn ...
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Houston Chronicle article
Will the Pentagon kill off the Warthog?
CNN - almost 2 years
The A-10 Thunderbolt II is a lumbering, old airplane. Taking its first flight in 1975, it was not designed for air-to-air combat like the F-15 Eagle. It's not sleek or stealthy like the F-22 Raptor. It has never taken a leading role in Hollywood blockbusters like the F-14 Tomcat or F/A-18 Hornet. But what it lacks in performance and good looks, it makes up for with pure brute punching power. If the F-15 is the Tom Brady of the Air Force, the A-10 is Lawrence Taylor. It is arguably one of the most important post-9/11 aerial fighters in the United States arsenal. It is also close to being put out to pasture.
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CNN article
WWE News: Random And Fun Facts Throughout ‘WrestleMania’ History
The Inquisitor - almost 2 years
WrestleMania 31 is tomorrow, and there are going to be a lot of superstars looking to up their numbers and possibly make a huge name for themselves. They want to go down in the record books and be someone who everyone always remembers. With that, let’s take a look at some random and fun facts that have come about through the history of WrestleMania. A lot of research has been done to figure out these WrestleManiafun facts, but WWE has been gracious enough to provide some of their own as well. Looking at the numbers, it may be hard to believe some of the things that have happened at the huge event over the past 31 years. Most WrestleMania Appearances — 22: This title belongs to The Undertaker, and that means he also owns the record for most matches with 22 as well. What some people don’t know is that while his undefeated streak is over, WrestleMania 31 will mark his 14th consecutive appearance, which adds on to the record he already owns. Bret “Hit Man” Hart had the old record f ...
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The Inquisitor article
How One Of NYC's Hottest Nightlife Groups Is Blowing Out The Super Bowl
Business Insider - about 3 years
New Yorkers have come to expect a complete and total over-the-top show from Strategic Group — the nightlife group that owns the Dream Hotel, Marquee, Avenue, and LAVO. Super Bowl 2014 will be no different. How could it be? It's on Strategic's turf. Every one of their properties has a lineup of celebrity-hosted or DJ'd parties, culminating in a Super Bowl Party/Brunch blow-out at LAVO featuring live cheerleaders, DJing during commercials, and its own special Halftime Show. The details of the Show, of course, are a secret. Others details are out there, though. Strategic Group's Andrew Goldberg says Marquee, which will host DJs Beats By Dre and Tiesto on Friday and Saturday respectively, will debut new theatrical lighting on Friday. Think: LED lights everywhere — above your head, as well as on gloves, and on hats passed out to partiers when they enter the club. On Friday, Swizz Beats will be at Avenue (where Captain Wes Welker and other Broncos have already been spotted party ...
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Business Insider article
Jennifer Lawrence Complains of "Armpit Vagina" at SAGs 2014, Talks Taylor Swift Photo Bomb
US Magazine - about 3 years
She's just being J-Law. Jennifer Lawrence was her usual blend of gorgeous, wacky and lovably inappropriate on the red carpet outside L.A.'s Shrine Auditorium for the SAG Awards 2014 Saturday. Wearing a much-different look than her talked-about Golden Globes look last Sunday, the actress, 23, nevertheless wore another design by Dior -- this one a strapless sequined number. But the Kentucky native claimed to Giuliani Rancic that the form-fitting number was slightly too small for her figure. As she hiked up the top of the gown, the American Hustle star complained of "armpit fat -- it's awful" (Giuliana quickly protested that Lawrence had no such "fat" to speak of.) PHOTOS: SAGs 2014, what everyone wore! "Great," Lawrence said. "Now you can maybe look at my armpit vagina. All these cameras, it's horrible!" PHOTOS: Best celeb photo bombs After uttering that "armpit vagina" phrase a couple more times, Lawrence went on to explain last Sunday's most talked-about carpet moment at t ...
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US Magazine article
Incognito, Martin and the 'Rules of the Game'
Huffington Post Sports - over 3 years
Professional sports teams have given us several ironic names. "Saints" that were accused of intentionally injuring football players on other teams; "World Peace" who was anything but that while on the basketball court; and, now, "Incognito" who was hardly inconspicuous in his ranting, bullying and otherwise obnoxious behavior. Maybe it's time that professional sports recognize the maxim used by corporate CEOs: "You hire on competence, but fire on character." In any truly successful organization, both must go hand-in-hand. Good character represents the behavior that lifts people up, exhibits kindness, does good, and synthesizes other-regarding and community values into building a positive culture within the team, whether in sports or life. That may not be the Merriam-Webster definition, but it's my take, based on training almost 70,000 teens to build cultures of kindness, caring and respect by putting their values-in-action. Character, in a nutshell, shapes the "rules of the game," t ...
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Huffington Post Sports article
Jadeveon Clowney Needs To Grow Up And Start Playing Like A Superstar Again
Huffington Post Sports - over 3 years
Entering his junior campaign at South Carolina, defensive end Jadeveon Clowney was expected to have one of the greatest individual seasons in college football history. The next Lawrence Taylor perhaps. And yet, five games into the season, he has underperformed on the field and sat out even after doctors cleared him to play, blaming overly sore ribs. Instead of potentially becoming the first-ever defensive player to win the Heisman Trophy, Clowney has disrespected the game, disrespected his team, and -- perhaps most importantly -- disrespected himself. Clowney has just two sacks in the four games he has played this season. (Getty Images) Over the summer, the hype surrounding Clowney grew at an incredible rate, thanks in large part to the devastating hit he made during the Outback Bowl on New Year's Day. For those who don't know, Clowney was also the top-rated high school player in the United States three years ago. He was -- and still is -- a can't-miss prospect and future NF ...
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Huffington Post Sports article
Eagles -- Giants Rivalry: How Philly Miracles Turn into New York Rings
Huffington Post Sports - over 3 years
The despicable rivalry between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New York Giants is the oldest in the NFC East. It is the ultimate sports conflict between two cities just 99 miles apart. Its mattered more than the Sixers and the Knicks, it's got more history than the Phillies and the Met, and it's more relevant than the Flyers and the Rangers. The teams have met 160 times. New York has won 84, Philly has taken 76, and two ended with the kissing of cousins. They've met in the postseason four times, and split those down the middle. While those numbers favor New York, assessing the winner of the rivalry isn't quite that clean-cut. The Giants certainly have a prouder history (winning Super Bowls will do that), but when those old grainy highlight films come out of head-to-head history-makers, it's the Eagles that appear to hold more bragging rights. In short, the rivalry makes no sense. A dramatic win for one franchise tends to signal a coming of awesomeness for the other. Go back a g ...
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Huffington Post Sports article
Sports of The Times: Taylor, Proud of His Hits on the Field, Regrets the Pain He Caused Off It
NYTimes - over 3 years
The Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor criticized rules intended to increase safety in the N.F.L., but he acknowledged mistakes that embarrassed his family and the Giants.     
Article Link:
NYTimes article
Nothing is off limits in new Lawrence Taylor documentary
USA Today - over 3 years
'LT: The Life & Times' tells the complete story of the Hall of Famer's wild, wild past.
Article Link:
USA Today article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Lawrence Taylor
    FIFTIES
  • 2016
    Age 57
    On June 9, 2016, Taylor's wife was arrested for domestic violence in Florida after she threw "an unknown object" and struck Taylor in the back of the head.
    More Details Hide Details Sources: † Including the 9.5 Taylor unofficially recorded as a rookie, his total is 142. Key to abbreviations GP= games played Int= interception Yds= yards TD= touchdowns FR= fumbles recovered
  • 2012
    Age 53
    On October 26, 2012, a court rejected the victim's claims that Taylor assaulted her.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 2011
    Age 52
    The girl was represented by celebrity attorney Gloria Allred when Taylor pleaded guilty on March 22, 2011 and was sentenced to six years probation as part of a plea agreement, in which he pleaded guilty to the misdemeanors of sexual misconduct and patronizing a prostitute.
    More Details Hide Details He will also have to register as a low-risk level one sex offender.
  • FORTIES
  • 2009
    Age 50
    In 2009, Taylor started having troubles in his personal life again.
    More Details Hide Details On November 8, he was arrested in Miami-Dade County, Florida for leaving the scene of an accident after striking another vehicle with his Cadillac Escalade. He had already committed the same offense in 1996 when he totaled his Lexus in a one-car accident and left the scene, saying he did not think the law required the reporting of a single driver incident. He was released on a $500 bond, and the other driver later sued him, seeking $15,000. He was arrested six months later for having sex with a 16-year-old girl at a Holiday Inn located in Montebello, New York. He was charged with felony third-degree statutory rape, for allegedly engaging in sexual intercourse with someone under 17. He was also charged with third-degree patronization for allegedly paying the underage girl $300 to have sex with him.
    He was eliminated in the seventh week on the April 21, 2009 show.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 2006
    Age 47
    Taylor re-emerged into the public eye in July 2006, after appearing on the cover of a Sports Illustrated issue dedicated to former athletes and sport figures.
    More Details Hide Details In the magazine, Taylor credited his hobby of golf with helping him get over his previous hard-partying ways and drug filled lifestyle. He co-founded eXfuze, a network marketing company based in West Palm Beach, Florida. Along with former NFL players, such as Eric Dickerson and Seth Joyner, he was a spokesman for Seven+, the flagship multi-botanical drink produced by the company. His son Brandon recently signed a national letter to play with the Purdue Boilermakers. Taylor was a contestant on the 8th season of Dancing with the Stars, partnered with Edyta Śliwińska.
  • 2003
    Age 44
    Taylor said in 2003 that "L. T. died a long time ago, and I don't miss him at all all that's left is Lawrence Taylor."
    More Details Hide Details
    Taylor is currently married to his third wife and resides in Pembroke Pines, Florida. His soul-wrenching admissions to Mike Wallace in 2003 reignited his popularity with the public.
    More Details Hide Details In 2004 Taylor released an autobiography, LT: Over the Edge. Taylor often spoke of his NFL years, which he played with reckless abandon, and the drug-abusing stages of his life as the "L.T." periods of his life. He described "L.T." as an adrenaline junkie who lived life on a thrill ride.
  • 2000
    Age 41
    He also acted in the 2000 Christian film Mercy Streets with Eric Roberts and Stacy Keach, and the 2003 prison movie In Hell with Jean-Claude Van Damme.
    More Details Hide Details In 1999, when Taylor became eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, there were some concerns that his hard-partying lifestyle and drug abuse would hurt his candidacy. These concerns proved to be ill-founded, however, as he was voted in on the first ballot. His son Lawrence Taylor Jr. gave his introduction speech at the induction ceremony. Taylor's ex-wife, his three children, and his parents were in attendance and during his induction speech Taylor acknowledged them saying, "thank you for putting up with me for all those years." He also credited former Giants owner Wellington Mara for being supportive of him saying, "he probably cared more about me as a person than he really should have."
    He also had a role in the 2000 version of Shaft.
    More Details Hide Details Taylor voiced the steroid-riddled, possibly insane former football player B.J. Smith in the video game, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. The character poked fun at his fearsome, drug-fueled public image. He also added his voice to the video game Blitz: The League and its sequel, which were partially based on his life in the NFL.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1995
    Age 36
    On September 4, 1995, the Giants retired Phil Simms' jersey during halftime of a game against the Cowboys (Taylor had his number retired the year before).
    More Details Hide Details Simms celebrated the moment by throwing an impromptu ceremonial pass to Taylor. Simms recalled, "all of a sudden it kind of hit me, I've put Lawrence in a really tough spot; national TV, he's got dress shoes and a sports jacket on, and he's had a few beers and he's going to run down the field and I'm going to throw him a pass." Simms motioned for Taylor to run a long pattern and after 30–40 yards threw him the pass. Taylor later said the situation made him more nervous than any play of his career, "I'm saying to myself (as the pass is being thrown), 'If I drop this pass, I got to run my black ass all the way back to Upper Saddle River because there ain't no way I'm going to be able to stay in that stadium'." Taylor caught the pass, however, and the capacity crowd in attendance cheered in approval.
    He went through drug rehab twice in 1995, only to later be arrested twice over a three-year span for attempting to buy cocaine from undercover police officers.
    More Details Hide Details During this period, he lived almost exclusively in his home with white sheets covering his windows and only associated with other drug users. Taylor later said, "I had gotten really bad. I mean my place was almost like a crack house." In his second autobiography, Taylor admitted that he had begun using drugs as early as his rookie season in the NFL. He has also stated that his first wife, Linda, mother to his three children, once had to come pick him up from a crack house during his playing career. In a November 2003 interview with Mike Wallace on the television news magazine 60 Minutes, Taylor claimed he hired and sent prostitutes to opponents' hotel rooms the night before a game in an attempt to tire them out, and that at his peak, he spent thousands of dollars a day on narcotics. He also recounted several other instances of aberrant behavior, including arriving to a team meeting during his playing career in handcuffs after spending a night with some call girls. He said, "A couple of ladies that were trying out some new equipment they had. You know? And I just happened to, and they just didn't happen to have the key." He also said that to beat NFL drug tests, he routinely submitted the urine of his teammates.
  • 1994
    Age 35
    The next week on January 15, 1994 in what would be Taylor's final game, the Giants were beaten 44–3 by the 49ers.
    More Details Hide Details As the game came to a conclusion, television cameras drew in close on Taylor who was crying. He announced his retirement at the post-game press conference saying, "I think it's time for me to retire. I've done everything I can do. I've been to Super Bowls. I've been to playoffs. I've done things that other people haven't been able to do in this game before. After 13 years, it's time for me to go." Taylor ended his career with 1,088 tackles, 132.5 sacks (not counting the 9.5 sacks he recorded as a rookie because sacks did not become an official statistic until 1982), nine interceptions, 134 return yards, two touchdowns, 33 forced fumbles, 11 fumble recoveries, and 34 fumble return yards. Lawrence Taylor, defensively, has had as big an impact as any player I've ever seen. He has also been described as one of the most "feared" and "intimidating" players in NFL history. Taylor's explosive speed and power is credited with changing the position of outside linebacker from a "read and react" type of position to a more attacking, aggressive position.
  • 1993
    Age 34
    Taylor returned for the 1993 season enticed by the chance to play with a new coach (Dan Reeves), and determined not to end his career due to an injury.
    More Details Hide Details The Giants had a resurgent season in 1993. They finished 11–5, and competed for the top NFC playoff seed. Taylor finished with 6 sacks, and the Giants defense led the NFL in fewest points allowed. They defeated the Vikings 17–10 in the opening round of the playoffs.
  • 1992
    Age 33
    Throughout the 1992 season, and the ensuing offseason, Taylor was noncommittal about his future, alternately saying he might retire, then later hinting he wanted a longer-term contract.
    More Details Hide Details
    Taylor rebounded in the early stages of what many thought would be his final season in 1992.
    More Details Hide Details Through close to nine games Taylor was on pace for 10 sacks and the Giants were 5–4. However, a ruptured Achilles tendon suffered in a game on November 8, 1992 against Green Bay sidelined him for the final seven games, during which the team went 1–6. Before the injury Taylor had missed only four games due to injury in his 12-year career.
  • 1990
    Age 31
    Following the 1990 season, Parcells, with whom Taylor had become very close, retired, and the team was taken over by Ray Handley. 1991 marked a steep decline in Taylor's production.
    More Details Hide Details It became the first season in his career in which he failed to make the Pro Bowl squad, after setting a then record by making it in his first ten years in the league. Taylor finished with 7 sacks in 14 games and the Giants defense, while still respectable, was no longer one of the top units in the league.
    Taylor held out of training camp before the 1990 season, demanding a new contract with a salary of $2 million per year.
    More Details Hide Details Talks dragged into September with neither side budging, and as the season approached Taylor received fines at the rate of $2,500 dollars a day. He signed a three-year $5 million contract (making him the highest paid defensive player in the league) just four days before the season opener against the Philadelphia Eagles. Despite sitting out training camp and the preseason, Taylor recorded three sacks and a forced fumble against the Eagles. He finished with 10.5 sacks and earned his 10th Pro Bowl in as many years, although the season marked the first time in Taylor's career that he was not selected to the All-Pro team. The Giants started out 10 – and finished with a 13–3 record. In the playoffs, the Giants defeated the Bears 31–3, and faced the rival 49ers in the NFC Championship Game. They won 15–13, after Taylor recovered a key fumble late in the game to set up Matt Bahr's game-winning field goal. In Super Bowl XXV, they played the Buffalo Bills and won one of the more entertaining Super Bowls in history, 20-19, after Buffalo's Scott Norwood missed a potential game-winning field goal as time expired.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1989
    Age 30
    In 1989, Taylor recorded 15 sacks.
    More Details Hide Details He was forced to play the latter portion of the season with a fractured tibia, suffered in a 34–24 loss to the 49ers in week 12, which caused him to sit out the second half of several games. Despite his off-the-field problems, Taylor remained popular among his teammates and was voted defensive co-captain along with Carl Banks. The two filled the defensive captain's spot vacated by the retired Harry Carson. The retirement of the nine-time Pro Bowler Carson, broke up the Giants linebacker corps of Carson, Reasons, Banks, and Taylor, which spearheaded the team's defense nicknamed the "Big Blue Wrecking Crew" in the 1980s. The Giants went 12–4, and advanced to the playoffs. In an exciting, down-to-the-wire game, the Rams eliminated the Giants 19–13 in the first round, despite Taylor's two sacks and one forced fumble.
  • 1988
    Age 29
    The Giants looked to rebound to their championship ways in 1988 but the start of the season was marred by controversy surrounding Taylor.
    More Details Hide Details He tested positive for cocaine and was suspended by the league for thirty days, as it was his second violation of the NFL's substance abuse policy. The first result in 1987 had been kept private and was not known to the public at the time. He was kept away from the press during this period and checked himself into rehab in early September. Taylor's over-the-edge lifestyle was becoming an increasing concern for fans and team officials. This was especially true given the eventual career paths of talented players like Hollywood Henderson and others whose drug problems derailed their careers. The Giants went 2–2 in the games Taylor missed. When Taylor returned he was his usual dominant self as he led the team in sacks again, with 15.5 in 12 games played. The season also contained some of the more memorable moments of Taylor's career. In a crucial late-season game with playoff implications against the New Orleans Saints, Taylor played through a torn pectoral muscle to record seven tackles, three sacks, and two forced fumbles. Taylor's presence in the lineup was important as the Giants' offense was having trouble mounting drives, and was dominated in time of possession. Television cameras repeatedly cut to the sidelines to show him in extreme physical pain as he was being attended to by the Giants staff. Taylor had already developed a reputation for playing through pain; in a 1983 game against the Eagles the team's training staff had to hide his helmet to prevent the injured Taylor from returning to the field.
  • 1986
    Age 27
    The Giants appeared to have a bright future coming off their 1986 championship season as they were one of the younger teams in the league.
    More Details Hide Details They struggled the next season however, falling to 6–9 in the strike-shortened 1987 season. Taylor caused strife in the locker room when he broke the picket line after early struggles by the team. He explained his decision by saying "The Giants are losing. And I'm losing $60,000 a week." He finished the season as the team leader in sacks with 12 in 12 games played, but missed a game due to a hamstring injury, ending his consecutive games played streak at 106.
    In 1986 Taylor had one of the most successful seasons by a defensive player in the history of the NFL.
    More Details Hide Details He recorded a league-leading 20.5 sacks and became one of just two defensive players to win the NFL Most Valuable Player award and the only defensive player to be the unanimous selection for MVP. He also was named Defensive Player of the Year for the third time. The Giants finished the season 14–2 and outscored San Francisco and Washington by a combined score of 66–3 in the NFC playoffs. He appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated alone the week leading up to Super Bowl XXI with a warning from the magazine to the Denver Broncos regarding Taylor. The Giants overcame a slow start in Super Bowl XXI to defeat Denver 39–20. Taylor made a key touchdown preventing tackle on a goal line play in the first half, stopping Broncos quarterback John Elway as he sprinted out on a rollout. With the Super Bowl win, Taylor capped off an unprecedented start to his career. After six years, he had been named the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Award (1981), NFL Defensive Player of the Year a record three times (1981, 1982, 1986), First-team All-Pro six times, become the first defensive player in NFL history unanimously voted the league's MVP (1986), and led his team to a championship (1986). After the win, however, Taylor felt let down rather than elated. Taylor said:
  • 1984
    Age 25
    The Giants' record rebounded to 9–7 in 1984, and Taylor had his fourth All-Pro season.
    More Details Hide Details He got off to a quick start, recording four sacks in a September game. In the playoffs the Giants defeated the Los Angeles Rams 16–13, but lost 21–10 to the eventual champion 49ers. In contrast to the previous season the Giants headed into the 1985 season with a sense of optimism after their successful 1984 campaign and a 5–0 pre-season record. The Giants went 10–6, and Taylor spearheaded a defense that led the NFL in sacks with 68. Taylor had 13. One of the more memorable plays of his career occurred during this season. On a Monday Night Football game against the Redskins, Taylor's sack of Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann inadvertently resulted in a compound fracture of Theismann's right leg. After the sack, a distraught Taylor screamed for paramedics to attend to Theismann. Although this sack ended Theismann's career, Theismann has never blamed Taylor for the injury. Taylor says he has never seen video of the play and never wants to. During the first round of the playoffs, the Giants defeated the defending champion 49ers 17–3, but lost to the eventual champion Chicago Bears in the second round 21–0.
  • 1983
    Age 24
    Taylor was given a $1 million interest-free, 25-year loan by Generals owner Donald Trump on December 14, 1983, with the provision that he begin playing in the USFL in 1988.
    More Details Hide Details Taylor regretted the decision, and less than a month later attempted to renege. His agent was able to negotiate by meeting with Trump personally and then the Giants which resulted in allowing Taylor to go with the Giants. Taylor got a 6-year $6.55-million package that also included a $1 million interest-free loan. The main results of these negotiations were threefold: 1) Taylor returned the $1 million to Trump, 2) the Giants paid Trump $750,000 over the next five seasons, and 3) the Giants gave Taylor a new six-year, $6.2-million-dollar contract.
    Although Taylor recorded nine sacks and made the All-Pro team for the third consecutive season in 1983, the Giants struggled.
    More Details Hide Details The team went 3–12–1, and Parcells received heavy criticism from fans and the media. Taylor was forced to play inside linebacker for part of the season, a position which allowed him less pass rushing opportunities, when Carson was injured. Frustrated by the losing, Taylor began acting out by arriving late for meetings, and not participating in conditioning drills in practice. After the season, Taylor was involved in a fight for his services between the Giants and the New Jersey Generals of the United States Football League.
    Leading up to the 1983 season, Taylor engaged in a training camp holdout that lasted three weeks and ended when he came back to the team under his old contract with three games left in the preseason.
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  • 1982
    Age 23
    The 1982 NFL season, which was shortened to nine regular season games by a players strike, included one of the more memorable plays of Taylor's career.
    More Details Hide Details In the nationally televised Thanksgiving Day game against the Detroit Lions, the teams were tied 6 - 6 early in the fourth quarter, when the Lions drove deep into New York territory. Lions quarterback Gary Danielson dropped back to pass and threw the ball out to his left toward the sidelines. Taylor ran in front of the intended receiver, intercepted the pass, and returned it 97 yards for a touchdown. This play was indicative of Taylor's unusual combination, even for a linebacker, of power with speed. He was again named Defensive Player of the Year. After the 1982 season, Perkins became head coach of the University of Alabama and the Giants hired Parcells to replace him. In the coming years this change proved crucial to the Giants and Taylor.
  • 1981
    Age 22
    He was named 1981's NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year, making him as of 2013 the only rookie to win an Offensive or Defensive Player of the Year award.
    More Details Hide Details Taylor's arrival helped the Giants defense reduce their points allowed from 425 points in 1980 to 257 in 1981. They finished the season 9–7, up five games from the previous season, and advanced to the NFL divisional playoffs, where they lost 38–24 to the eventual Super Bowl champion San Francisco 49ers. The San Francisco win was due partly to a new tactic 49ers coach Bill Walsh used to slow Taylor. Walsh assigned guard John Ayers, the team's best blocker, to block Taylor and, although Taylor still recorded a sack and three tackles, he was not as effective as normal. In contrast to his on-field success Taylor was already developing a reputation for recklessness off the field; after nearly getting killed during the season when his speeding resulted in a car crash, Young told the team's trainer he would be surprised if the linebacker lived past the age of 30, and the Giants insured Taylor's life for $2 million.
    He recorded 9.5 sacks in 1981, and his rookie season is considered one of the best in NFL history.
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    Taylor made his NFL regular season debut on September 6, 1981, in a 24–10 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
    More Details Hide Details Aside from incurring a penalty for a late hit on Eagles running back Perry Harrington, Taylor played a nondescript game. In a game versus the St. Louis Cardinals later in the season, Taylor rushed and sacked the passer when he was supposed to drop into coverage. When told by Parcells that was not what he was assigned to do on that play, and that what he did was not in the playbook, Taylor responded "Well, we better put it in on Monday, because that play's a dandy."
    Taylor made his NFL exhibition debut on August 8, 1981, recording 2 sacks in the Giants' 23–7 win over the Chicago Bears.
    More Details Hide Details Before the season word spread around the league about Taylor. Years after facing him in an exhibition game, Pittsburgh Steelers Quarterback Terry Bradshaw recalled, "he dang-near killed me, I just kept saying, 'Who is this guy?' He kept coming from my blind side and just ripped my ribs to pieces." Taylor developed what has been termed a "love-hate relationship" with Bill Parcells who was the team's defensive coordinator when he was drafted, and would later become their head coach. Parcells often rode players in the hopes of driving them to better performance. Taylor did not appreciate this approach, and early on told Parcells, "I've had enough. You either cut me or trade me but get the fuck off my back." Parcells kept on Taylor, but privately told some veterans, "I like that LT. That motherfucker's got a mean streak."
    In the 1981 NFL Draft, Taylor was drafted by the NFL's New York Giants as the 2nd pick overall.
    More Details Hide Details In a poll of NFL General Managers (GMs) taken before the draft 26 of the league's 28 GMs said if they had the first selection they would select Taylor. One of the two GMs who said they would not take Taylor was Bum Phillips, who had just been hired as coach and general manager by the New Orleans Saints. As fate would have it for Taylor, the Saints were also the team who had the first pick in the draft. Giants GM George Young predicted before the draft that he would be better than NFL legends such as Dick Butkus: "Taylor is the best college linebacker I've ever seen. Sure, I saw Dick Butkus play. There's no doubt in my mind about Taylor. He's bigger and stronger than Butkus was. On the blitz, he's devastating." On draft day, Phillips made good on his promise not to draft Taylor and the Saints instead selected Heisman Trophy-winning halfback George Rogers with the first pick, leaving the Giants with the decision of whether to select Taylor. To the raucous approval of the crowd in attendance at the draft (which was held in New York City), the Giants selected him. Privately, Taylor was hesitant about playing for New York as he had hoped to be drafted by the Dallas Cowboys, and was unimpressed with a tour of Giants Stadium he was taken on, after the draft.
  • 1980
    Age 21
    He was recognized as a consensus first-team All-American and the Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year in 1980.
    More Details Hide Details While there the coaching staff marveled at his intense, reckless style of play. "As a freshman playing on special teams, he'd jump a good six or seven feet in the air to block a punt, then land on the back of his neck", said North Carolina assistant coach Bobby Cale. "He was reckless, just reckless." UNC later retired Taylor's jersey.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1979
    Age 20
    Originally recruited as a defensive lineman, Taylor switched to linebacker before the 1979 season.
    More Details Hide Details He had 16 sacks in his final year there (1980), and set numerous defensive records.
  • 1977
    Age 18
    After graduating from Lafayette High School in 1977, Taylor attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he was a team captain, and wore No. 98.
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  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1959
    Age 0
    Born on February 4, 1959.
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