Patriots notebook

Taylor in no rush to retire

Dolphins linebacker will keep options open

By Monique Walker and Albert Breer
Globe Staff / December 3, 2009

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FOXBOROUGH - Dolphins linebacker Jason Taylor will keep his options open when his one-year deal ends.

At 35, Taylor said he has no intentions of retiring, and when asked if he would revisit coming to New England, said, “We’ll see what happens after the season is over. I know my deal ends at the end of the year and we’ll reevaluate at the end of the year and what the teams are wanting to do and go from there.

“You never close off any of your options, you don’t burn any bridges, and you always keep an open mind.

“I don’t want to be a hindrance to a team or hold a team back, but I know I can play, I’m enjoying it, and it’s December and I’m feeling great and healthy. And I’ll go as long as it works out.’’

The Patriots almost signed Taylor prior to this season, but in the end, changing circumstances and family commitments pushed Taylor back to the Dolphins.

But he appreciated the interest from New England. The deal was so close it forced the Patriots to scramble to find another veteran pass rusher - Derrick Burgess - on the trade market.

“No regrets. I have no regrets,’’ Taylor said. “I’m here in Miami, I’m happy, I’m home. It meant a lot to me that coach [Bill ] Belichick and Mr. [Robert] Kraft and the organization would have me there. But it was meant for me to be here, and I’ll leave it at that.’’

Taylor already has the confidence of Belichick, who was miked for the game against the Dolphins Nov. 8 and could be heard telling Taylor after the Patriots’ win, “You’ll be in the Hall of Fame someday.’’

“It means a lot to me,’’ said Taylor. “To get respect like that from somebody like Bill Belichick is very flattering. It’s humbling. It’s very appreciated. I’ve said over the years how much respect I have for Belichick and a lot of the guys on that team and the organization as a whole up there in New England.

“To get a compliment from Bill like that means a lot. I’ve never had a chance to play for him, but listening to him talk and how he carries himself in interviews, he kind of throws around compliments like manhole covers. It means a lot.’’

All for it
With former Patriots offensive coordinator Charlie Weis available again after his tenure as Notre Dame’s head coach ended, Tom Brady intimated that he would be open to Weis returning to New England.

“Charlie and I always keep in touch,’’ Brady said. “He’s always been a great friend of mine. We have a great relationship.

“It’s very disappointing for him. His heart and soul was with Notre Dame. Players obviously liked Charlie. We all really enjoyed being with Charlie.

“None of those decisions are up to me. He’s a great guy and a great coach. Any team would be lucky to have him.’’

For the first five years of his career, as Brady transformed from a sixth-round draft pick to an All-Pro, he had Weis as his offensive coordinator. During those years, four of which Brady spent as the starter, Brady passed for 13,925 yards in the regular season, completed 61.6 percent of his passes, and won three Super Bowls.

On Tuesday, Belichick expressed disappointment about Weis being fired, but said any dealings with him were not “on the front burner.’’

Light duty
Running back Fred Taylor was the lone player not present at the portion of yesterday’s practice open to the media. The nearly full attendance may have owed to the light nature of the practice. Players wore sweatshirts, sweatpants, and no helmets. “It was a short night there on Monday, so Tuesday wasn’t really a full game-plan day, so we took a little extra time this morning to try to tie up a few loose ends there before we gave it to the players,’’ said Belichick. “But what we went through out there on the field was basically what we would do on Wednesday, just not the timing and tempo of it, naturally.’’

Ratings winner
The Patriots-Saints game Monday night drew 21.4 million viewers and earned a 15.0 rating, ESPN announced yesterday, making it the second-most-watched cable program in television history. The seven highest-rated cable programs of all time are “Monday Night Football’’ games.

Adam Kilgore of the Globe staff contributed to this report.

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