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Lawrence Taylor: I didn't think I'd reach 56 years old

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Lawrence Taylor -- No. 56 -- quite possibly the most revolutionary defensive player in modern NFL history, was happy to make it to 56 on Wednesday.

He did not think that was a birthday he'd see.

"It's hard to believe that I GOT to 56, yes," Taylor told the New York Post, "but I'm here.

"Don't get me wrong -- it hasn't been an easy road. It's been a rough road. It's been a rocky road, it's been a rough road ... and every day I face things that really make you just hesitant about how life is, but one thing I know, I'll get through it, and I can make it happen. Bad things will happen, but I have a lot of good things that happen in my life. I have a LOT in my life to be thankful for."

Taylor is celebrating just days after the defensive coordinator who made him famous -- Bill Belichick -- won his fourth Super Bowl ring as a head coach.

After years of battling drug addiction and depression, the most electric defensive player in NFL history sounded humbled and happy on this benchmark birthday.

He picked up his phone for a reporter while ordering dinner for his kids at a Florida Benihana.

"I played golf with about 30 guys," Taylor said about the rest of his day. "We meet every Tuesday, so they threw me a get-together, a party, and I was really surprised. And today, hey, we had to do it all over again."

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