New York Giants defensive end Lawrence Taylor (56) sets for play in 1990.  Al Messerschmidt via AP)
New York Giants defensive end Lawrence Taylor (56) sets for play in 1990. Al Messerschmidt via AP) — Al Messerschmidt Archive

Lawrence Taylor was the first three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year in league history and helped reinvented the outside linebacker position in the 1980s. No player in league history has been feared more than Taylor, one of only two modern-era defenders ever to earn NFL MVP honors.

Taylor also is one of six Pro Football Hall of Famers who'll be in attendance as we unveil the entire Team For the Ages at "Football Legends LIVE!" Sept. 8 in Crystal Lake, Ill. Tickets are on sale now:

PFW recently asked Taylor five questions about his 13-year career earning him a spot on our Team for the Ages. Our hope is that it gives football lovers a sample of the kind of discussion we'll be having with NFL immortality and persuades you to join us for an unforgettable night to help celebrate PFW's golden anniversary and kick off the 2018 season.

PFW: To what do you most credit your standing as one of the greatest pass rushers of all time?

LT: I sure as heck give a lot of credit to [Bill] Parcells and [Bill] Belichick for letting me move around. It created a lot of mismatches in my favor. And I credit my teammates — a lot of excellent players made me better.

PFW: What does fear look like, and what does it feel like to know the blocker across from you is terrified by your greatness?

LT: Well, I know a lot of guys feared me, and I'm humbled by that all these years later. I played the game clean, the right way. I was blessed with speed, athleticism, natural strength and tenacity. When I broke in, to that point, the league had not really seen a combination of all four.

PFW: Would you have been even more devastating in today's NFL, the golden era of passing?

LT: I'd have 40 sacks a year

PFW: Did you have any sense at the time that your defensive coordinator, Bill Belichick, would go on to be a great head coach, never mind the GOAT?

LT: Parcells told me once, "ya know all these defenses we run?" he said, "well, Belichick is the one who designs a lot of 'em. I knew he was [a] different, brilliant football mind.

PFW: Any memories from your lone battle with fellow Team for the Ages member Anthony Munoz in 1985?

5: I can't remember what I had for lunch, let alone a game in 1985. But I'll tell you this: Anthony was one helluva football player. One of the greats of all time.