PITTSBURGH -- Jason Taylor fought back tears as he pondered whether this was the end for him.
"We finished this thing an hour ago," Taylor said softly. "There are so many emotions going through me right now. We'll cross that bridge in the future."
Taylor, the NFL's active career sacks leader, was wooed to New York by Ryan to help provide a proven pass rusher to a defense sorely in need of one. He ended up with five in the regular season -- a number he wasn't pleased with.
"I pride myself on being a playmaker and a game-changer," Taylor said. "I may not be the same as I was two years ago, but I felt like I still needed to do more."
"What a great opportunity," Taylor said. "It was a great run to this point. Obviously, tonight wasn't what we expected. That was the toughest loss I've ever experienced."
"So close," Taylor said, "you could see it. You could smell it. You could feel it. ... It wasn't meant to be."
Taylor spoke about how much fun he had on previous teams and how he cherished the bonds he formed with teammates, but he called this season with the Jets the most fun he's had in the NFL.
"You don't want it to end this way," he said. "It wasn't enough, personally. I didn't provide enough tonight."
Taylor insisted he wasn't thinking about his future yet, but he said he knows he and the rest of the Jets will not be the same group that plays next season.
"This team as you see it tonight will never be together again," he said. "Whether Jason Taylor's back or anybody else is back, it will not be the same football team again. It just can't be. It's sad in its own right."
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press