MIAMI — Jason Taylor stopped by the Miami Dolphins complex this week, met new coach Joe Philbin for the first time and sensed a change.
Taylor, who will be inducted into the team’s Honor Roll at halftime of Sunday’s game against St. Louis, played with the Dolphins for 13 years and never reached an AFC championship game, much less the Super Bowl.
So when Taylor says the team seems headed in a new direction, Dolphins fans should rejoice.
“There’s reason for optimism here,” he said. “The team is going to take on the personality of your coach, and it’s different than what we’ve had in years past here. “
The sense of rejuvenation among fans of the Dolphins (2-3) is shared by folks in St. Louis. The Rams (3-2), led by new coach Jeff Fisher, have climbed above .500 for the first time since 2006 thanks to consecutive victories, and they’ve already exceeded their 2011 win total.
Sunday’s game offers a chance to compare the work of the two new coaches — one hired by the Dolphins in January, and one who turned them down.
Nine months ago, Fisher arrived at the Dolphins’ complex aboard owner Stephen Ross’ helicopter for a job interview, before landing for good in St. Louis. The Dolphins then hired Philbin, and everyone now seems happy with the outcome.
“I just felt like this was a better opportunity for me,” Fisher said.