Fall Fashions with the Redskins' Jason Taylor

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A 6'6", 255-pound mountain of fast-twitch muscle and controlled violence, Dolphins defensive end Jason Taylor has been named both NFL Defensive Player of the Year and one of People magazine’s most beautiful people in the world. It’s this combination of substance and style that may well take Taylor from stardom on the field to stardom on-screen. Because, although his 117 career sacks, seven interceptions, and 40 forced fumbles are Hall of Fame numbers, the 34-year-old Taylor is looking at life beyond football.

Reality Check
To become a legend, it helps to topple one first. “In my very first preseason game in 1997, I’m at Lambeau Field playing against Brett Favre,” says Taylor. “And I sack him. That was the point where I said, ‘Damn, I’m really here.’¿” Since then, he’s been the cornerstone of the Dolphins’ defense. And though by the time you read this, he might be punishing quarterbacks for another franchise, Taylor insists his well-publicized spat with the Fins’ GM, Bill Parcells, has been blown out of proportion. “We’re both grown men,” he says. “But wherever I play this season, I will be successful.”

The Afterlife
“You can only play football so long,” notes the six-time All-Pro. “This is a tough game for tough people, but there comes a time for every player when you want to play and they don’t want you anymore.” It’s a lesson that plenty of former greats have learned too late, and Taylor’s not about to overstay his welcome. As for life after football, he’s not taking anything off the table; with his charm, looks, and presence, Taylor is well-positioned to make the transition from turf to screen like Jim Brown, Lawrence Taylor, and, er, O.J. Simpson before him. “You have to do something else. There’s more to life than sports. You’ve got to use this kind of opportunity to better yourself. The NFL is not a destination; it’s a step along the way.”